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Gbe Xibrarp 

of tbe 

of Toronto 

Bertram 1R. Davis 

from tbe boohs of 

tbe late Xionel Davis, Ik.C. 








VOL. I. 



Bilu-rsilic ^rcss, Civmbriigc 


13 tDi rat to it. 





9, Aldford Street, Park Lane. 
Jan. 1st, 1890. 





My birthplace A legal family My father's one idea We 

move from Somersetshire to Berkshire Our quaint old 

house in the Cloisters at Windsor Xeighbours and friends 

-Visit of Lord George Loftus Why he came amongst us 

His habits and customs Running up to London How 

his lordship was "done"- Eton Some popular "Tugs" 

-The last Eton " Montem " The scene in the grounds 

Levying " Salt " Her Majesty's contribution Why the 

institution perished ... . . .1 



More about Eton School persecutions Cricket and football 
matches, and what followed I am elected a King's 
Scholar - - The masters Concerning Bursar Bethell 
How we rang old Plumptree's bell " Sock " shops 
Spankie's love for the aristocracy Heroism of a fag 
" Cellar " and " Combie "The "long glass "Persons we 
patronised My tutor The nicknames he gave us His 
method of punishment Threepence or half a sheep- 
Impudence of young Seale-Hayne The prtuposter Story 
of Dr. Keate My only Hogging My tutor's version of tin 1 
affair The portrait at the Garrick Club . . . .11 





I leave school Donation to the head master How should 
I earn my living 1 ? I interview Montagu Chambers, Q.C. 
I become a master at Ipswich The work distasteful I 
resolve to become a soldier A commission obtained for me 
-Eccentric Colonel Sibthorp Ordered off to Portsmouth 
-Detachment duty off Tipner The " Forlorn Hope"- 
The order from the Horse Guards Indignation of Sibthorp 
Arrival of the recruiting sergeants I am to go to the 
seat of war My new regiment I proceed to Dublin A 
spree : we shave off the whiskers of an ex-pawnbroker's son 
Unpleasant consequences threatened I eat humble-pie 
The affair blows over I again change my regiment The 
fall of Sebastopol ends my hopes The song I composed, 
and the reputation it brought me A consequence of that 
reputation ...... . -7 



Life at Walnier Unpleasant officers How I offended the 
Colonel The "Subalterns' Arms" I ask to be ex- 
changed Our impecuniosity How I humbugged the 
sheriff's officer I make a bolt for it Jurnbo and I ask 
leave We proceed to London The newspaper advertise- 
ment Interviewing the money-lender His terms We 
call upon his " friend "- A singular breakfast " Merely a 
matter of form " A disturbance in the street Jumbo and 
I arrested We are taken before the magistrate and fined 
-Visit from " Captain Curtis "--The trick played upon 
us My father and godfather to the rescue I return to 
Walmer, and leave the service. ..... 39 



I stay with my parents at Reading Visit from Disney Roebuck 
Our amateur theatricals We resolve to go on the stage 



Our early engagements An eventful introduction 
Miss Keeley hears me ray lines I meet Henry Irving 

Playing in the Potteries Mrs. Patch Why I went 
to I )ublin My marriage My wife's parents We take 
a house in Pelham Street Another provincial tour 
Mrs. "Wyndham Johnny Toole - - I leave the stage 
Reminiscences of Keeley Mrs. Iveeley's versatility 
Adelphi dramas Visitors at Pelham Crescent Mr. and 
Mrs. Alfred Wigan Mr. and Mrs. Levy The Daily Tele- 
graph Mr. Edward Lawson I enter at the Inner Temple 

Frank Bumand He and I write plays together I take 
a manuscript to Robson The price paid for it . . . 49 



Serjeant Parry's advice I enter Mr. Holl's chambers Attend- 
ing the Sessions The resolution I come to I am called 
to the Bar My first brief Pleasure gives way to fright 
I lose the case My despair Hardinge-Giffard, Sleigh, 
Metcalfe, Ballantine, and others Messrs. Lewis and Lewis 
Bob Orridge's bet An exception to the general rule . 68 



The extent of my practice The case of Catherine Wilson A 
description of her crimes Our defence What the Judge 
said Statement by the Lincoln police officer The verdict 
The accused rearrested A fresh trial Bodies of the 
victims exhumed Some pointed observations from, the 
Bench "Guilty"- Mr. Justice Byles His lordship's com- 
ments in private Anecdote of Mr. F. Mr. Arthur Collins 
and the point that was overlooked A painful case The 
subscription, we started My first introduction to Messrs. 
Lewis and Lewis Reminiscences of Ballantine An em- 
barrassing position Ribton's verbosity I act as Ballan- 
tine's junior in a gross case of fraud His advice about 
fees The little Jewish solicitor . 77 






Serjeant Ballantine's weekly custom A case of fraud What 
Ballantine said to the parson Jews like the Serjeant; but 
the Serjeant doesn't like Jews A remarkable piece of cross- 
examination " I am his cussed old father"- Ballantine's 
conduct towards Clarkson Sparring between the Serjeant 
and Huddleston Miss Lydia Thompson's action against Miss 
Marie Wilton The comment of a rising young barrister 
I desire to join the Oxford Circuit My father's peculiar 
objections I join the Home Circuit The giants of those 
days My first Circuit town Serjeant Shee's kindness 
Mr. Eussell Gurney, Sir Thomas Chambers, and Mr. Com- 
missioner Iverr An instance of great fairness . . .92 



The Hatton Garden murder Pelizzioni charged with the crime 
-Evidence of the landlord of the " Golden Anchor " 
Statement of the dying man Witnesses for the defence 
Accusations against Gregorio The question of the knife 
The prisoner sentenced to death Excitement among the 
Italians A respite obtained Interposition of Mr. Xegretti 
Gregorio traced He is tried for the crime Fresh evidence 
Pelizzioni put into the box Mr. jSTegretti's evidence 
Gregorio found guilty of manslaughter An unprecedented 
state of things Pelizzioni tried again on a second indict- 
ment He is acquitted and pardoned Which one was 
guilty? .... . 107 



A case of sheep-stealing The alibi I set up It is pooh-poohed 

from the Bench A verdict of "Guilty" What took place 

twelvemonths later " You condemned an innocent man" 

-The Drovers' Association take the matter up Her 



Majesty's " pardon " The prison doors release a maniac 
Anticipatory mourning : Hawkins' little joke "A fly-blow 
in the ocean ". . . . . . . . .125 



The Cannon Street murder Evidence of the cook An im- 
portant letter Mrs. Robbins' testimony Statement by 
George Terry I call for the defence Great con- 
flict of evidence : the issue hopelessly confused A verdict 
of " Not Guilty " -The murder remains a mystery^ My 
friend Douglas Straight My earliest recollection of him : 
how he cuffed the ears of two small boys " The Twins " 
An amusing observation that we overheard . . .132 



Number 8, Upper Brook Street A new custom of mine- 
Mr, and Mrs. Lawson's house at Twickenham The people 
who went there Napier Sturt and the diamond merchant 
Sir John Holker's natural surprise Attempt to burn 
down The Daily Telegraph offices I am sent " Special " to 
Windsor A case of robbery My curious meeting with 
London detectives The statement one of them made to 
me regarding my client I am obliged to leave before the 
verdict is returned The prisoner's consequent indignation 
A verdict of " Not Guilty " How the released man 
treated the police to a champagne supper .... 145 



The Middlesex Sessions An underpaid J udgeship Poor 
prisoners and their defence Where thieves used to live, 
and where they live now An impudent little pickpocket 
I defended East End lodging-houses : a disgraceful state 
of things Suggestions for reform Midnight rambles in 
the East End How a friend and I tried the effects of 
opium The "Bridge of Sighs"- A woman lying in the 
snow with a child in her arms The poor creature's 
desperate resolve We take her to the refuge . . .158 





An amusing case at Bristol Strange threat of a butcher 
Ballantine makes a mistake The long retirement of the jury 
The butcher found to be tattered and bleeding A cruel 
murder The ragged wayfarer and the kind-hearted widow 
She accedes to his prayer for a night's lodging He 
becomes her manager and collects her rents A descrip- 
tion of the crime The man is acquitted He afterwards 
boasts of his guilt ........ 173 



The Clerkenwell explosion How it originated, and why it 
failed The accused and their counsel A description of 
the prisoners Evidence of the informers A letter in 
invisible ink Incidents subsequent to the explosion- 
Further evidence The warders in the witness-box- 
Acquittal of Ann Justice A moving scene Mr. Baker 
Greene's witnesses Barrett's demeanour The crowd in 
Court Constant attendance of ladies Retirement of the 
jury Excitement inside and outside the Court . .181 



Return of the jury An exciting moment Barrett found guilty 
The Judge's interrogation Barrett replies, but is interrupted 
by his lordship The prisoner receives permission to 
address the Court Text of his speech Some eloquent 
passages His analysis of the evidence Mullany, the 
"Prince of Perjurers" Manly references to his impending 
doom A moving peroration The effect produced upon 
his hearers: not a dry eye in Court The leading article in 
The Daily Telegraph The issue pronounced unsatisfactory 194 





Another Fenian trial The indictment Evidence of informers 
Details of a ludicrous plot : Chester Castle to be seized 
Result of the trial A shrewd Jewish solicitor He sends me 
a "dead" case The value of bristles Conclusive evidence 
How the police found the stolen property Our consul- 
tation Unaccountable merriment of the solicitor " Xot 
a leg to stand on. Ha ! ha ! ha ! " -The thirteenth jury- 
man He makes a sad statement, and is allowed to serve 
An unexpected occurrence : the jury ask to retire Hours 
pass, and no verdict is returned An extraordinary dt-nou- 
ment It is explained . . . . . .206 



An attempt to corrupt the police Trial of Critchley and 
Eichards Ham's evidence Fatal termination of a fight 
Trial of those who took part in it A nice point : boxing or 
prize-fighting 1 Mr. Baron Bramwell hesitates He consults 
Mr. Justice Byles The final decision, which settles the 
law on the subject . . . . . . . .216 



Trial of Madame Eachel Police Court proceedings Mr. Knox 
Ballantine, Straight, and I appear against Madame Rachel 
Mrs. Berradaile's evidence A description of that lady 
Her introduction to Lord Ranelagh "\Vhat Mrs. Borradaile 
paid to be made " beautiful for ever "- How she raised the 
necessary cash 'Gushing love-letters from. " "\Villiam" 
Ordering jewels, lace, trousseau, etc. Faulty orthography 
attributed to the servant His love was as warm as a 
lighted cigar Lord Ranelagh's denial and explanations 
The jury disagree and are discharged The fresh trial 
A verdict of " Guilty " 224 




Madame Eachel again A case that did not come into Court 
A lovely woman seeks to improve upon Nature She takes 
a bath at Madame Rachel's and loses all her jewels- 
Treachery of the wicked old perfume- vendor The victim- 
ised lady confides in her husband He seeks my advice 
The decision we come to, and why Serjeant Parry and his 
methods His popularity " They call her Cock Robin " . 



Police Court practice Magistrates at Maryborough Street and 
Bow Street : Sir Thomas Henry, Sir James Ingham, 
Mr. Flowers, Mr. Yaughan, etc. Story of the gentleman 
from Bournemouth who lost his watch How the suspected 
man was arrested and taken before a magistrate The 
prosecutor finds he has made a mistake Sir James Ingham 
gives a practical illustration of human forgetfulness An 
old thief at the back of the Court perceives his opportunity 
and seizes it Social reforms brought about by Mr. Ivnox 
-The West End : then and now Licensing business- 
Excellent City Aldermen : Sir Thomas Gabriel, Sir 
Benjamin Phillips, Sir James Lawrence, and others . 



The Shrewsbury election petition Douglas Straight accused of 
bribery and treating We all put up at " The Raven " 
My social duties as junior Hardinge-Giffard would not let 
me smoke in the sitting-room I have my revenge, and 
Giffard has no breakfast The tactics I pursue in regard to 
the dinner Ballantine opens the case The man with the 
white hat The "Dun Cow" dinner A little joke from the 
Bench Straight becomes very angry with Ballantine 
Four anxious hours Baron Channell gives a decision in 
our favour General rejoicings ..... 





I am instructed to prosecute Robert Cook, whom I have 
met before How he wronged the poor widow She 
had no money for a Christmas dinner I " go for " the 
accused with a vengeance Ballantine can't understand 
it The jury return a verdict of " Guilty," and Cook's 
carriage drives away empty I sign a petition, and the 
sentence is mitigated The Wood Green murder Descrip- 
tion of the crime The dinners at the Central Criminal 
Court A chaplain's choice observation A jewel robbery 
How the thieves gagged the assistant A theatrical effect 
in the box The Stratford murder A damning piece of 
evidence The murderer's confession . 280 



C. W. Mathews : the best pupil I ever had " Faithful 
William " The work a counsel in large practice has to do 
Story of two Jews who raised my fee They expectecl a 
" nice long day" I discover a legal flaw, and their friend 
is promptly acquitted They are disappointed " Flash 
Fred " He is charged with forgery, and I defend him 
His running comments during the case He forgets the 
second indictment, but the Bench doesn't How "Flash 
Fred " got a railway ticket for nothing Rumour associates 
him with the theft of Lord Hastings' betting-book 
Remarkable speech by a Queen's Counsel The countrymen 
in the jury-box commence to weep " We finds for Muster 
C " . 294 



I become a member of the Garrick Club Sir Charles Taylor 
An amateur music-hall performance H. J. Byron and his 
troupe of performing dogs The Taily Tailygrapli 
The crime of dogicide Another election petition 



Astounding allegations I get worn out and determine 
to go fishing All the others insist upon coming My 
client couldn't fish, and wouldn't let me A midnight 
consultation Exciting chase after an eavesdropper We 
determine to throw up the sponge I go to bed and have 
a troubled dream A frilled night-shirt " When you 
meet your client in h 11," etc. ..... 308 



Risk Allah v. The Daily Telegraph Taking evidence at 
Brussels Risk Allah's remark about the coffee I accom- 
pany the Procureur General to a Belgian Court of Justice- 
He takes a pinch of snuff from one o the men he is 
prosecuting Serjeant Parry opens his case A difference 
between the legal procedure of the two countries- Risk 
Allah's history Finding the dead body -The position 
taken up by the newspaper Alleged accomplices in forgery 
Parry defines the issue Verdict ..... 321 



Long cases and large fees : Mr. Coleridge's observation Chief 
Justice Cockburn's remarks about the Press What another 
Chief Justice said : " Who is Mr. Corney Grain 1 "The 
Daily Telegraph's leading article The necessity for a 
Court of Criminal Appeal Instances of how it would have 
been useful Should defended prisoners address the jury 1 333 




My birthplace A legal family My father's one idea We move 
from. Somersetshire to Berkshire Our quaint old house in the 
Cloisters at Windsor Neighbours and friends Visit of Lord 
George Loftas Why he came amongst us His habits and 
customs Running up to London How his lordship was 
" done "Eton Some popular " Tugs "The last Eton "Mon- 
tem " The scene in the grounds Levying "Salt" Her 
Majesty's contribution Why the institution perished. 

WHEN a person is about to give evidence in a Court 
of Justice, he is sworn to tell the truth, the whole 
truth, and nothing but the truth. Now this is pre- 
cisely what I am not going to do. The truth and 
nothing but the truth ? Yes. The whole truth ? No. 
My purpose is to run over certain pages in the history 
of a somewhat varied and eventful life, to describe 
things that I have seen, and to tell anecdotes of 
men of note with whom I have, from time to time, 
been associated. It will be my earnest endeavour, 
while so doing, to write nothing that can wound the 

VOL. I. B 


susceptibilities of the living, and to tell naught of 
those that have passed away, save the good things 
that should live after them. 

I was born at Freshford, in Somersetshire, on 
the 30th September, 1835, the locus in quo a small 
cottage outside the gates of Stoke, the country resi- 
dence of my great - uncle and godfather, Stephen 
Williams. He was a barrister in considerable practice 
on the Western Circuit. His only children were 
two daughters : Ellen, a very beautiful girl, who was 
burnt to death while dressing for one of the Bath 
balls ; and Nanno, who married Colonel, afterwards 
General, Maitland, and was the mother of the pre- 
sent Earl of Lauderdale. 

My family has been steeped in law for genera- 
tions. My great-grandfather was a Chancery barrister ; 
my grandfather was senior partner in the firm of 
Williams, Vaux, Fennell. and Williams, of Bedford 
Eow ; and my father, John Jeffries Williams, commonly 
known as "Little Williams," was on the Oxford 

My mother, whose maiden name was Jessie Browne, 
was the daughter of Robert Browne, Esq., who in early 
youth went out to the West Indies, and settled av 
Jamaica as a sugar-planter. My father had three 
children : an elder brother named Mahon, a younger 
sister named Clara, and myself. 

My father, who was an excellent classic, had one 
idea in his mind that outweighed all others, namely, 


to give his two sons the very best education in his 
power. To further this end, when my brother had 
reached the age of twelve, my father determined to 
settle in the neighbourhood of Eton, and, whilst 
practising his profession as a local barrister, to 
personally supervise the teaching and training of his 
boys. In due course we migrated from Somersetshire 
to Berkshire, and occupied a house in the Cloisters at 
Windsor, having as neighbours the Rev. \V. Knyvett 
on the one side, and the Dean of the Chapel Royal 
on the other. It was a quaint and ancient house, 
celebrated for the old painted - glass window in the 
drawinef-room. On this window was the head of 


a very beautiful woman, popularly supposed to be 
Margaret of Anjou. 

My brother was at once sent to Eton, and became 
the pupil of the Rev. W. Lawrence Elliott ; while I, 
under the personal supervision of my male parent, 
was doomed to worry my juvenile life out over the 
well-inked pages of the Eton Latin Grammar. 

My father's principal friends in those days were 
Dr. George (afterwards Sir George) Elvey, the organist 
of St. George's ; the Rev. T. Gore, one of the Minor 
/anons ; Tom Batchelor, the lame Chapel Clerk of 
Windsor, and Registrar of Eton College; and Tom 
Chambre, the well-known associate of the Western 
Circuit, The principal people in the neighbourhood on 
the Windsor side, were Captain Bulkeley of Clewer, 
whose sister-in-law, the handsome Miss Fanny 

B 2 


Langford, was the belle of the county ; Major and 
Mrs. Mountj oy-Martin ; and Horace Pitt, afterwards 
Lord Eivers. In the Buckinghamshire district were the 
Vyses, Vansittarts, Fitzmaurices, Coneys, and Wards. 

We had been living in the Cloisters some two 
or three years, when my father informed us that he 
expected a visitor, who, he added, would probably 
remain with us for a considerable period. This was 
Lord George Loftus, one of the younger sons of the 
Marquis of Ely, with whom my father had been 
acquainted for some few years. In due time Lord 
George arrived. His visit, as I afterwards learnt, was 
due to rather peculiar circumstances. 

Those were the days of imprisonment for debt, 
and if a man, who owed money, was unable to come 
to a satisfactory arrangement with his creditors, he 
probably found himself in the Fleet, the Queen's 
Bench Prison, or one of the other buildings set apart 
for the detention of insolvent debtors. There were 
certain privileges, however, granted to these un- 
fortunate persons. For example, it was a rule that 
nobody should be arrested on the Sabbath day, i.e 
between the hours of 12 p.m. on Saturday and 
12 p.m. on Sunday. Again, any person residing within 
the precincts of a Royal residence, such as Windsor 
Castle and Hampton Court Palace, was, so long as 
he remained within those precincts, secure from the 
hands of the bailiff, or sheriff's officer. Now, Lord 
George owed a considerable sum of money, which 


lie was unable to pay, and, as he preferred his partial 
liberty in Berkshire to durance vile in London, he 
quartered himself temporarily with us in the Cloisters 
at Windsor. He was a good-looking fellow of about 
thirty, with very pleasant manners, and I am bound 
to say that he was exceedingly kind to us children. 
He had a remarkably fine set of teeth, which he 
was very fond of showing, and he was perpetually 
repeating, with a knowing shake of the head, "You 
can't do Lord George ! " Now, if ever there was a 
man who had been bested by all the bill-discounting 
Jews and post-obit mongers in England, done to death 
by every conceivable sharp in racing, gambling, etc., 
it was our self-satisfied but deluded visitor. 

Lord George seemed tolerably happy in his 
seclusion. He used to roam about the Castle Green 
and Back Hill, and occasionally drop in upon the 
officer on guard at the Castle Gate. He would smoke 
any number of the best and most expensive Lopez 
cigars, either with one or two of the Military Knights, 
or some chance friend from London, who came down 
to see how he was getting on. It was his custom to 
relieve the monotony of his existence by running up 
to town on Sundays. He would catch the early 
morning train from Slough (there was no line to 
Windsor in those days), and return by the last one 
from Paddington, which just arrived in time to enable 
him to hurry into the Castle Yard before the fatal 
stroke of twelve. My father had, over and over 


again, endeavoured to dissuade him from running this 
risk, but, with the usual shake of the head and 
observation, he obstinately refused to follow the 
proffered advice. 

A year had nearly elapsed since Lord George's 
advent, when, one Sunday morning, he left in the 
very highest spirits to pay his customary visit to town. 
He was to dine with a Mrs. Theobald, then a very 
celebrated rider with the Queen's hounds, and to meet 
at her house a few of his intimate friends and racing 

Sunday passed in the usual quiet way at Windsor ; 
the last train arrived but no Lord George. Early next 
morning a special messenger came clown from town, with 
the news that his lordship had been arrested, and was 
in the hands of the myrmidons of the law. It appeared 
that after a very good dinner, with plenty of champagne 
and lively conversation, his lordship, looking at the clock 
on the drawing-room mantelpiece, observed that it was 
time for him to order a cab and drive to the station. 
With a hurried good-bye he left, but on arriving at 
Paddington, judge his surprise to find the train gone, 
the lights out, and the station shut ! As he was trying 
to realise his position, two men stepped out from the 
shadowy darkness of the station, and one of them, 
placing a hand upon his shoulder, exclaimed. : 

" Too late, my lord ! The train has been gone some 
five-and-twenty minutes. Your lordship is done this 


The fair equestrienne and a racing man named 
Tom Coyle had been acting in collusion with Lord 
George's principal creditor the clock had been put 
back one hour and the victim passed that night at 
Slowman's sponging-house in Cursitor Street, Chancery 

My brother pursued his studies in a very satisfactory 
way at Eton. After passing his examination, he was 
elected one of the sixty King's Scholars, or, as they were 
commonly called, Tugs, a name arising from the fact 
that they were fed upon no meat but mutton, which was 
not always of the tenderest description. 

It is nearly four centuries and a half since the 
College of the Blessed Mary of Eton was founded 
by King Henry VI. Its endowment was mainly 
derived from the alien priories suppressed by 
Henry IV., and its original foundation consisted of a 
Provost, ten priests, four lay clerks, twenty-five poor 
scholars, and five beadsmen. By successive bene- 
factions and the rise in the value of property, its 
revenues gradually increased from 652, in 1508, 
to upwards of 20,000, at which they now stand. 
Many years ago the number of scholars rose to sixty, 
and at that point it has remained. They are supposed 
to be the children of poor gentlemen, but of late 
years they have included in their ranks the sons 
of noblemen and of eminent statesmen. At the 
time of which I am writing, not the least popular 
of the sixty " King's " was my brother, familiarly 


known among his fellows as " Shiny Williams." 
Boudier, Bumpstead, Gwynne, Mackerness, Joynes, the 
Polehamptons, and the Brownings, were among his 
co-Tugs ; while conspicuous among the Oppidans 
were De Bathe (now Sir Henry), the best-looking 
fellow I think I ever saw ; Charlie and Fred Coleridge, 
Bailey, Chitty (Mr. Justice), McNiven, Astley, 
Whymper, and many others who have since done 
something to inscribe their names in the Book of 

It was during my chrysalis state while I was 
reading up for the purpose of treading in my brother's 
footsteps, and being admitted as a scholar upon the 
foundation that I was present at the last Eton 
Montem, an experience I shall never forget. Montem 
took place once every three years. It was originally 
founded, I believe, for the benefit of that Colleger 
who in his year attained the highest place in the 
school, but who, by reason of no vacancy occurring 
before the time of his superannuation, had not the 
luck to be sent up to King's College, Cambridge. 
All the money that was taken, under the short and 
peculiar name of " salt," passed into his pockets on 
the day that he left, and was supposed to go* a 
long way towards paying his expenses either at 
Oxford or Cambridge. The amount collected was 
sometimes as large as 1,000, and even as 1,200. 

The boys or rather, those whose fathers could 
afford the outlay were arrayed for the day in all sorts 


of fancy costumes, some of a beautiful and costly 
description. You might see the Courts of Charles I. 
and Louis Quatorze assembled in the Playing Fields, 
while Captain Macheath, Sir Brian de Bois Gilbert, and 
Sir Walter Raleigh might be encountered wandering 
by the banks of the* Thames, in Lower Shooting Field. 
The boys of the Fifth and Sixth forms were dressed 
as follows : the Oppidans in red coats with brass 
buttons (on which were stamped the Eton arms), white 
waistcoats, and white trousers ; the Collegers in what 
looked like blue naval uniforms. The Lower boys were 
dressed in Eton jackets with the Eton button, white 
trousers, and white waistcoats, and in their hands they 
carried thin white wands. 

There was a certain number of Sixth Form, or 
Upper Division, boys who wore fancy dresses, and acted 
as salt-bearers. They carried large silken bags, into 
which they put the money collected from visitors and 
passers-by. The donors received in return for their 
contributions a little piece of blue paper, on which was 
inscribed the motto for the Montem of that particular 
year. The motto for the last Montem was pro more 
et monte ; that for the last but one, mos pro lege. 

Royalty itself was not free from the tax. Two 
"salt-bearers" were stationed on Windsor Bridge, and 
when the Queen drove down the hill and she never 
missed a Montem the elder of the two stepped for- 
ward, stopped the carriage, and, taking off his hat, 
with the words, " Salt, your Majesty, Salt," placed 


under contribution the highest and noblest lady in the 

In the afternoon there was a regular fete in the 
Playing Fields. The enormous tent captured from 
Tippoo Sahib, which had been lent from the Castle, 
was erected as a refreshment booth. At noon all the 
boys formed themselves into a procession, and marched 
from the College Yard to Salt Hill, the mound from 
which the festival took its name. Here Montem was 
buried with all due pomp and solemnity. 

Montem was an expensive custom to keep up. In 
the first place, the masters, dames, and Fellows had 
to entertain the numerous visitors whom the occasion 
brought together ; in the next place, the parents of 
the boys were put to a considerable expense in the 
matter of fancy costumes. Murmurs arose from both 
quarters, and thus it came about that, like many 
another fine old institution, Montem breathed its last. 
Sic transit gloria mundi. 



More about Eton School persecutions Cricket and football matches, 
and what followed I am elected a King's Scholar The masters 
Concerning Bursar Bethell How we rang old Plumptree's 
bell "Sock" shops Spankie's love for the aristocracy Heroism 
of a fag" Cellar" and " Combie "The "long glass " -Persons 
we patronised My tutor The nicknames he gave us His 
method of punishment Threepence or half a sheep Impudence 
of young Seale-Hayne The prseposter Story of Dr. Keate 
My only flogging My tutor's version of the affair The portrait 
at the Garrick Club. 

SHORTLY after the events recorded in the last chapter, 
my father moved from "Windsor Castle to "Willow 
Brook. Willow Brook consisted of three houses on 
the Slouch road, about five minutes' walk from Eton 

O 7 

College, and just beyond Fifteen Arch Bridge. Our 
next-door neighbour, and my father's intimate friend, 
was Mr. Tarver, the French master at the School. 
He had three sons : Charles (who was for some time 
tutor to the Prince of Wales), Harry, and Frank 
(who succeeded to his father's position). 

Lono- Chamber was in existence in those days, 


though it was doomed to be soon pulled down and 
replaced by the new buildings. The sixty Tugs in- 
habited Long Chamber, as well as Carter's Chamber, 
which was underneath it, opposite the Lower School 

The Eton of those days was very different from 
the Eton of to-day. I think if a boy had been seen 
carrying an umbrella or wearing an overcoat then, 
the umbrella would have quickly found its way to 
the bottom of Barns' Pool, and the overcoat would 
soon have worn the aspect of anything but a complete 
garment. If a lad entered College as a Lower boy, 
save and except fagging, he escaped most trouble ; 
but if he entered as a Fifth Form boy, he was, during 
the first half-year, called a Jew and subjected to all 
sorts of persecutions, being forbidden, among other 
things, the privilege of sitting at Upper fireplace. 
The judge and administrator of punishments was called 
the "High Priest," and at that time the office was 
filled by one Ben Simmonds (whose real name was 
Harry), now a staid and respectable banker at Beading, 
living at a charming place near Caversham, on the 
banks of the Thames. 

One of the torments to which the Jews had to 
submit was suggestive of the fate of Shadrach, Meshach, 
and Abed-nego. An enormous paper fire was lighted 
in the centre of Long Chamber, and the Jews had to 
jump into it, and dance about, for the amusement 
of the Sixth Form and Lower boys. Another ordeal 


may be mentioned. The neophyte was tied up in his 
gown, carried to some remote spot being liberally 
punished in transitu and there deposited, being left 
to extricate himself as best he could. These Barnes 


were carried on after "lock up," for the Collegers had 
the range of the School Yard, the Cloisters, the Upper 
School staircase, and, usually, the Upper School. 

How long the tortures lasted depended entirely 
upon how they were taken. Before he faced the fiery 
furnace, any one who knew what he was about took 
care to put on two or three coats and one or two 
pairs of thick trousers ; and as a preliminary to the 
other ordeal, the wary one put into his pocket a small 
knife, wherewith to cut open his gown and regain his 

Great nights followed the days on which were 
played the cricket and football matches between 
Collegers and Oppidans. No battles were fought with 
more pluck, energy, anxiety, and determination than 
those matches, and, if the Tugs were victorious, some- 
thing like an orgie, I am afraid, prevailed at night in 
Long Chamber. All the jugs and basins were called 
into requisition, and the Lower boys were set to work 
preparing those vessels for the brewing of " gin-twirley," 
an innocent kind of gin-punch. Eecourse was also had 
to a barrel of strong ale which had been secretly 
imported, and which was called " A Governor." 

Lights were supposed to be extinguished before ten 
o'clock, and at that hour Dr. Haw trey, then the 


"Head," visited Long Chamber to see that all was 
quiet. On the occasions to which I have alluded 
when the festivities were, as a matter of fact, kept up 
till nearly midnight special precautionary measures 
had to be taken in view of the Head Master's visit. 
This is what took place. Hawtrey's butler, Finniore 
(who doesn't remember good old Finney?), accompanied 
his master on his evening round, and, as they crossed 
the Quadrangle, on their way to Long Chamber, it was 
his custom to wave the lantern he carried in his 
hand. This was a prearranged signal, for which 
a youngster was on the watch. He was stationed 
at the head of the staircase, whence, through 
an iron grating, he looked out upon the Quad- 
rangle. The instant he saw the moving light, 
he gave the word, and no rabbits ever scampered to 
their burrows at the approach of a terrier more quickly 
than the boys after extinguishing the lights, and 
without removing their clothes now bolted to their 
beds. When Dr. Hawtrey entered 'Long Chamber, all 
were snoring and apparently asleep. He went away 
satisfied, little dreaming that five minutes later the 
candles would be brightly burning, and a merry festival 
in progress. 

One of our amusements on these occasions was to 
sing "The Fine Old Eton Colleger," "Johnny Coke," 
" The Mermaid," and other College songs. 

The time that I had so longed for at length arrived. 
I went into College trials, passed, and was elected a 


King's Scholar. I have always said, and I repeat it 
now, that these were the happiest days of my life. If I 
had twenty sons, and a sufficiently elastic purse, I 
should send them all to dear old Eton. What other 
school can show so remarkable a roll of statesmen ? It 
ranges from Bolingbroke to Gladstone, and includes all 
the most eminent of the Ministers who have swayed the 
destinies of this great country from the time of Anne to 
the Victorian era. Harley, St. John, and Walpole went 
to Eton, and it was the school of the elder Pitt, the 
Duke of Wellington, the late Lord Derby, the novelist 
Fielding, Hallam, Milnian, Shelley, and Gray. 

When I went into College, Dr. Hodgson was the 
Provost, and among the Fellows were Wilder, Grover 
(whose wife was called "Jack"), Plumptree, John 
George Dupuis, and Tom Carter. Among the masters 
were Edward Coleridge, Cookesley, Pickering, Harry 
Dupuis, Goodford, Abraham, Durnford, Balston, Young, 
Birch, and Johnson. In the Lower School were Okes, 
Elliott, Luxmore, and John Hawtrey. Bethell was the 
Bursar. He was a very sententious person, with a loud, 
sonorous voice, and it was upon him that a celebrated 
Sixth Form wrote the two following Greek iambics : 

Srjpos SiSaKTiKo? -re Koi prjrutpiKOs 
Me'yuy Be&jXos cocrre ravpos K/3oa. 

Their author subsequently translated them into English 
verse, as follows : 

Didactic, dry, declamatory, dull- 
Big Bursar Bethell bellows like a bull. 


All the Fellows lived in the Cloisters, and one of the 
amusements of the Lower boys was, after " lock up," to be 
perpetually ringing old Plumptree's bell and running 
away. One day, chancing to find a large bag of soot in the 
Cloisters, we carried it to Plumptree's door, deposited 
it just outside, rang the bell, and then hid round the 
corner. It so happened that the old fellow had been 
lying in wait for us, and, to our great delight, he at 
once burst open the door, seized the bag of soot, and, 
thinking that at last he had grasped his prey, cried out, 
"Ha ! ha ! my little Colleger, I've caught you now." 

The principal " Sock " shops, as boys call them 
where cake, fruit, ices, and such things are sold were 
Barnes', near Barns' Pool, and Webber and Knox's, 
in the High Street. On the path running down the 
Long Walk, just outside the School Yard, were to be 
found Bryan's barrow, and the baskets of Spankie, 
Jobey Joel, and Tulip Trotman, all crowded with such 
delicacies as delight the youthful palate. Spankie was 
a character, and he had a strong regard for the 
aristocracy. Whenever he met a young nobleman, he 
would take off his hat and bow most obsequiously. He 
was delighted to give him credit (" tick" we called it), 
and would remark how, years before, he had enjoyed 
the proud privilege of doing the same for his lordship's 
father. The late Duke of Newcastle (then Lord 
Lincoln), his brother (Lord Edward Clinton), Lord 
Dungarvan (now Earl of Cork), and Lord Campbell 
were conspicuous among Spankie's customers. Jobey 


Joel whose principal wares in summer were straw- 
berries and cherries and Tulip Trotman ministered to 
the wants of the humbler members of the community. 
Bryan's barrow was simply a marvel. It contained, in 
remote corners and hidden drawers, every conceivable 
luxury strawberries and cream, lemon and cherry ices, 
ginger-beer, lemonade, and a compound, sacred to a few, 
which looked and tasted uncommonly like cherry-brandy. 

In those days the " Christopher Inn " was not up 
town, but stood on the site, and was approached through 
the same old gateway, as the house where the Messrs. 
Tarver subsequently taught French. The punishment 
if you were caught passing through that gateway was a 
swishing, but this fact did not deter the boys from 
smuggling into the College many a bottle of Bass and 
Guinness. On one occasion a fag named Fursden was 
ordered by a popular Sixth Form to go and fetch half-a- 
dozen bottles of beer, secreting them in his gown 
pockets ; but he was caught in the act by Judy 
Durnford, and the next morning he was told that, 
unless he confessed who sent him on the errand, he 
would have to go before the Head Master for execution. 
Nevertheless, like a young Spartan, he maintained a 
dogged silence, and, when it came to the point, took his 
punishment like a man. That night he was asked to 
supper at Sixth Form table. 

After two o'clock on Saturdays two feasts were held 
at the " Christopher," that of the Oppidans being called 
"Cellar," and that of the Collegers, "Combie." The 

VOL. I. C 


feasts consisted of cold collations, with beer, shandy- 
gaff, etc., and they lasted about half an hour. Before 
you were permitted to be a party to these festivals, you 
had to go through the somewhat difficult task of 
drinking the contents of the celebrated long glass. 
The probationer was allowed to select whatever beverage 
he liked, and, if he failed to empty the glass, he was 
ordered to retire and come up again for trial on a 
future occasion. 

Between Barnes' and Webber's stood the shop of 
Dick Merrick, the watchmaker. What old Etonian 
does not remember Dick ? He sold clocks, watches, 
studs, links, pins, rings, etc. ; and his principal customers 
were George Wombwell, " Swell " Jarvis, Billy Peareth, 
Peyton, Lord Loughborough, Mr. Erskine (Earl of 
Eosslyn) - - a pupil of my tutor's and many others 
who were destined to figure in the fashionable world 
of the future. A little way from Barns' Pool Bridge 
was " The Tap," kept by Jack Knight. Here, and at 
Billy Goodman's, Bob Tolliday's, and the Brocas, you 
might constantly see the familiar forms of Dogiardy, 
Piggy Powell, Long Hill, Tot Wansel, Sparrow-Cannon, 
Nibbs, and others persons of considerable importance in 
our eyes. They taught us punting, swimming, and sports 
of all kinds ; supplied us with dogs and rats, blew 
our footballs, sold us hockey-sticks, and performed other 
useful offices. 

My tutor was the Kev. William Gilford Cookesley. 
Who that knew Eton in those days will ever forget 


him ? Eccentric and kind-hearted, he was the very 
last man in the world who should have had the mould- 
ing of young minds. After Donaldson subsequently 
head master at Bnry St. Edmund's, and author of the 
new " Cratilus " he was, as his editions of " Catullus," 
the " Poetse Grseci," and "Pindar" show, one of the 
ablest scholars of his day. 

Cookesley called all his pupils by nicknames. 
Bathurst (now Sir Frederick), who was much more 
at home in the Upper Shooting Fields, playing cricket, 
than sitting at the desk composing Greek iambics, he 
christened Ba#u? ; Sothern, a boy remarkable for the 
prominence of his nasal organ, " Publius Ovidius Naso;" 
Hay wood Minor, the " Sweep " ; Whitingstall, who was 
somewhat of a dunce, the " Professor" ; Frank Burnand, 
who, in some school amateur theatricals, played the 
King in Bombastes Furioso, "Your Majesty"; while 
I, for some reason or other which I will not stop to 
inquire into, was nicknamed the " Miserable Sinner." 

My tutor had a great dislike to putting his pupils 
" in the bill," i.e. sending them up to the head master 
to be swished. He preferred correcting them himself, 
and for this purpose kept in his desk two small thick 
pieces of gutta-percha, which had been captured from 
the Captain of his house, and which he called " the 
Doctor." With these correctives he took summary 
vengeance upon offenders ; and it was clear that he 
derived a pleasure from so doing. 

According to the statute of King Henry VI., on 

c 2 


one clay in the year every Colleger was entitled to 
receive threepence or half a sheep, threepence having 
been the value of half a sheep at the time the statute 
was passed. On the appointed day, while the Tugs 
were at dinner, Bursar Bethell would come into the 
hall and give each boy a threepenny piece, but never 
offering him the alternative of half a sheep. On one 
occasion a small and impertinent young Tug, named 
Bramwell, when offered the coin, turned round to the 
Bursar and said : 

" No, thank you, sir ; I want my half sheep." 
Bethell flew into an awful rage, and exclaimed : 
" I'll mention this matter to Dr. Hawtrey, and have 
you flogged." 

After three o'clock school the wretched Bramwell 
was accordingly sent for, handed over to the two 
holders-down, and duly punished. My tutor, strolling 
along the Long Walk, outside the School Yard, late 
that afternoon, chanced to come across young Bram- 
well, of whose escapade he had heard. 

"Master Bramwell," said he, "you're a great crimi- 
nal. I hear you asked Mr. Bethell for your half sheep, 
and for that offence have suffered condign punishment. 
Come and breakfast with me on Sunday. Now, boy, 
tell me, what would you like for breakfast ? ' : 

"Please, sir," said the young offender, "I should 
like a goose." 

"You shall have it," replied my tutor ; and on the 
following Sunday he kept his word. 


While giving the names of the masters, I forgot to 
mention the mathematical masters, Stephen Hawtrey, 
alias " Stephanos," and dear, good-natured, kind- 
hearted "Badger Hale," whose cheery countenance is to 
be seen at Eton still. My tutor, for some reason or 
other, had a contempt for mathematics, and a particular 
dislike for Stephen Hawtrey. On one occasion, in the 
Pupil Room, a boy put the following question to him : 

" Please, sir, is it true that Mr. Stephen Hawtrey is 
to wear a cap and gown ? ' 

Whereupon he promptly replied : 

" I think not, sir ; more likely a cap and bells." 

One Sunday evening several of us were sitting with 
my tutor in his Pupil Room, engaged in what was 
termed private business, which, on this occasion, took 
the form of readings from Whately's "Evidences of 
Christianity." Among those present was a very fat boy 
named Palk, the sou of the standing counsel of the 
House of Commons. Now it had happened that a few 
days before, one of the Brocas cads up town, on 
catching sight of the stout, ungainly figure of Palk, 
had cried out: "Ain't he like Dubkins?" the obser- 
vation being made in the hearing of a mischievous 
youth named Seale-Hayne, who, by the way, now sits 
in Parliament for the Ashburton division of Devon- 
shire. Well, as I have said, we were assembled 
together, quietly discussing the platitudes of Whately, 
and my tutor seated at his desk, in slippers and a 
blue and black draught-board dressing-gown (which I 


fancy I can see before me now) was on the point 
of explaining the meaning of the author in speaking 
of Christianity as looking through a glass darkly, when 
all of a sudden a loud voice outside the window 
exclaimed : 

" Ain't he like Dubkins ? " 

My tutor flung away the book, sprang over the 
forms, bolted out into the streets - - in his slippers, 
and without a hat - - and ran for his life after 
the culprit. Seale-Hayue, however, was too sharp 
for him, and, as we afterwards learnt, gave him the 
slip by running down Middleton's Lane, Cookesley 
returned in a tremendous rage, and found us all con- 
vulsed with laughter. Turning round sharply to me, 
for some reason, he exclaimed : 

" You miserable sinner, you're at the bottom of 
this ! Who, sir, is Dubkins ? I'll have you flogged 
in the morning." A threat, I need hardly say, that 
he did not carry into effect. 

When any member of the Upper School was punished, 
the punishment took place in the head master's room, 
where the block was kept. The Sixth Form prseposter 
kept the key of the birch cupboard, and superintended 
the execution. If the culprit were a friend of his, he 
busied himself, while Hawtrey was giving a preliminary 
lecture, in picking the buds off the birch. The sufferer 
was in the hands of two holders-down while the punish- 
ment was being inflicted, and the number of cuts was 
regulated by the gravity of his offence. 


I remember a story they used to tell of Dr. Keate, 
who preceded Hawtrey in his office. In the school were 
several brothers, named Voules, who were perpetually 
enjoying the attention of the head master in the flogging- 
room. One day Charles Voules (afterwards a well-known 
solicitor at Windsor) presented himself for punishment, 
in consequence of a misapprehension, it being his younger 
brother, Voules minor, who should have attended. In 
vain Charlie pointed out the mistake. 

"But you're a Voules," argued Keate, "and if you're 
not wanted to-day you will be wanted to-morrow ; " 
whereupon he coolly administered the chastisement. 

In my own time something of the same sort occurred. 
At Evans's there were two boys named Mitford, who 
resembled one another so closely that it was next to 
impossible to tell them apart. There was this difference 
between them, however, that while one suffered acutely 
during a flogging, the other, from much experience of 
the birch, had ceased to shrink from its application. 
The situation suggested a novel proceeding to the 
brothers. He of the thin skin was one day under 
sentence of a flogging, but his more callous brother, 
in return for a pottle of strawberries, consented to 
undergo the ordeal. He fulfilled his engagement, the 
fraud being undiscovered at head-quarters. 

Only once was I flogged, and then the punishment 
was unmerited. The circumstances of the case were 
these. Every boy, when out of bounds, if he met one 
of the masters, was under an obligation to shirk him, 


either by slipping into a shop or alley, or by any other 
method that offered. It so happened that all the 
masters wore white ties, and it was by this sign that we 
were in the habit of recognising them from a distance. 

One day when I was up town, I noticed, outside 
Cayley's, the linendraper's, a four-wheel chaise, in which 
a gentleman was seated. Mechanically my eye sought 
his shirt-front, and, perceiving that he wore a thick 
black tie, I did not hesitate to continue my course. 
Judge of my surprise, however, on arriving alongside 
the vehicle, to recognise in its occupant none other than 
Judy Durnford ! It was too late to shirk him, and so, 
not knowing what else to do under the circumstances, I 


took to my heels and went up the street as fast as my 
legs would carry me. 

After four o'clock that afternoon, Durnford sent for 
me. How was it, he asked, that I had not shirked 
him in the usual manner ? Too frightened to weigh 
my words, I stammered out : 

" Please, sir, you hadn't got on a white tie ! " 

Instantly he was crimson, and, in a tone of awful 
severity, he exclaimed : 

" You impudent boy ! You dare to tell me what 
I am to wear, do you ? Very well, sir, I'll have you 
soundly flogged ! " And he was as good as his word, 
though I had been innocent of any intention to give 

When my tutor heard of my punishment, he 
was highly delighted, for it was a theory of his that 


no boy was a genuine Etonian until he had been swished. 


On entering the Pupil Room he observed to Cook, one 
of his favourite pupils : "I say, My/w<?, Master Sinner 
has sot himself into a nice mess. Mr. Durnford has 


complained of him for impudence ; he has, upon my 
word. What do you think of that, now ? He actually 
told Mr. Durnford that the reason he didn't shirk 
him, was because he hadn't a white tie on." That was 
my tutor's version of the affair. 

My dear old tutor ! The last time I saw him (he 
died some four years ago) was one morning, as I was 
returning from Westminster Hall, where a part-heard 
case had been engaging my attention for an hour or 
two. Having had no breakfast, I determined to call in 
at the " Garrick" to get something to eat, and it was 
just before I reached the club that I caught sight of the 
well-remembered figure. Cookesley was standing before 
the print-shop at the top of Garrick Street, studying 
some illustrations of Charles Dickens' works that were 
in the window. Hurrying forward, I held out my 
hand, exclaiming: "Hullo, sir!" (the "sir" is never 
forgotten). " How are you 1 What on earth are you 
doing here 1 ' With a hearty shake of the hand, he 
retorted : " Why, my dear Sinner, how well you look ! 
I am staying at the Chief Justice's." (He was 
an intimate friend of Sir Alexander Cockburn, who 
was himself a polished classic, liomo factus ad unguem.} 
" He breakfasted rather too early for me, and so I 
thought I'd call in at the 'Garrick,' and try and find His 


Majesty (Burnand). I'm rather hungry, and I thought 
he'd give me something to eat ; but, my dear Sinner, 
you'll do as well. Come along." 

"While something was being prepared for us, 
Cookesley said : 

" I should like to see the pictures. It is a favourite 
custom of mine to do so whenever I. come to town." 

I was leading the way towards the dining-room ; 
but he stopped me, saying : 

" Not there ; upstairs, if you please, in the morning- 


"But," said I, in surprise, "there are very few 
pictures there." 

" Never mind," he replied, " the one I want to see 
most is there." 

On arriving upstairs, he stopped before the portrait 
of Nell Gwynne, and with that peculiar smile that 
sometimes saddened his face, said : 

" That is one of the best creatures, my dear Sinner, 
that ever lived. She ivas a woman, if you like. Now, 
I'll be bound you don't know why I say this. Are 
you aware, sir, that when she died, she left a consider- 
able fund for the relief of insolvent debtors ? " 

I understood it all then ; for my poor old tutor had 
been in pecuniary difficulties all his life. 



I leave school Donation to the head master How should I earn 
my living? I interview Montagu Chambers, Q.C. I become 
a master at Ipswich The work distasteful I resolve to become 
a soldier A commission obtained for rne Eccentric Colonel 
Sibthorp Ordered off to Portsmouth Detachment duty off 
Tipner The "Forlorn Hope" The order from the Horse 
Guards Indignation of Sibthorp Arrival of the recruiting 
sergeants I am to go to the seat of war My new regiment 
I proceed to Dublin A spree : we shave off the whiskers of 
an ex-pawnbroker's son Unpleasant consequences threatened 
I eat humble-pie The affair blows over I again change my 
regiment The fall of Sebastopol ends rny hopes The song I 
composed, and the reputation it brought me A consequence 
of that reputation. 

ONE of the verses of an old College song, '' The 
Fine Old Eton Colleger," runs as follows : 

Xow, Tugs, like dogs, must have their clay, 

And all has quickly past. 
The resignation man proclaims, 

This Tug must go at last. 

And so it is with me. Havinsf, to the Great 


-disappointment of my father, failed to obtain a 


sufficiently high place in my year to be transported 
to King's College, Cambridge, I was duly super- 

It was the custom for the boys, before they left 
the school, to go and say good-bye to the head master, 
being then presented by him with a "leaving book." 
In the case of Oppidans, it was an understood thing 
that they should place a cheque upon the table, for 
an amount that accorded with their parents' means. 

Dr. Hawtrey, who was the essence of politeness, 
always affected to be blind to these donations. If 
it was at the end of the summer term, he would 
observe, "It's rather warm. I think I'll open the 
window ; " and as he did so, the envelope was duly 
deposited upon the table. When the next boy who 
was leaving was ushered in, the same routine was 
gone through, save that Hawtrey observed : " Don't 
you think it's rather cold ? I think I'd better shut 
the window." 

And thus I left the school I cared for so well. 
si prceteritos referat mihi Jupiter annos ! 

Having disappointed my father by not getting 
"Kings's" and thus relieving him of a burden, I 
determined that, if possible, I would earn my own 
living. I came up to town, and went to see and 
consult my second godfather, Montagu Chambers, 
Q.C., a name that will always be honoured and 
respected by every member of the late Home Circuit. 
It so happened that he was on intimate terms with 


Dr. Eigaud, subsequently Bishop of Antigua, who, at 
that time, had just been appointed head master of 
Ipswich Grammar School. I told my godfather of 
my intentions, stating that I did not exactly know 
what to turn my hand to. Eemarking that my 
classical education ought to prove useful to me, he 
promised to write to Ipswich to see if Dr. Rigaud 
ould give me a berth in his establishment. 

In a month's time I found myself a master in the 
Grammar School, having as my principal care the 
Latin Elegiacs, Greek Iambics, and Latin Prose of 
the First or head master's Form. 

I remained there until I was nearly twenty years 
of age. It was a dull life, about which there is 
nothing worth relating, and of which I quickly tired. 

The Crimean War had broken out, and, at my 
instigation, my father obtained for me from his old 
friend, kind-hearted but eccentric Colonel Sibthorp 
a commission in the Royal South Lincoln Militia. 
The regiment was then embodied and doing the duty 
of regulars. It was quartered at Chichester, in the 
barracks usually occupied by the Foot Guards. 
Sibthorp was the honorary Colonel ; Henry Fane, 
Lieutenant-Colonel Commandant; Moore, the Major; 
and Pell, Brailsford, the two Parkers, Tuke, Norris, 
and "Woodhouse (of Irnham) commonly known as 
"Timber" were among the officers. 

We had a capital time at this pretty Sussex town, 
being most hospitably entertained by the people living 


in the neighbourhood. After remaining there about 
six months, we were ordered off to do garrison duty 
at Portsmouth. We were quartered in the Cambridge 
barracks, and it was while we were here that old 
Sibthorp used from time to time to come clown and 
visit his regiment, staying at the " Old Fountain." 
He was a very strange being. I remember on one 
occasion, while I was dining with him at the inn, 
I asked whether there was anything new in town. 
"Nothing particular, my dear boy," he said, "except 
the Spanish dancers at the Haymarket." (He was 
about seventy years of age at the time.) "And would 
you believe it, last night I sat in the House of 
Commons next to a brewer-man" (giving the name), 
" on the Conservative side of the House, too ! What 
are things coming to ! " 

While the regiment was quartered at Portsmouth, 
Brailsford, Tuke, and I, with two companies, were 
sent on detachment to Tipner, a fort about three 
miles away, where we remained for some months. 
In the neighbourhood was an enormous powder- 
magazine, and I remember one day when the " pill " 
of the regiment (a rather common little chap, named 
Ferneley), who had come out to inspect the men, 
pointed to the building, and asked, " What is that 
big place ? " Brail, as we called him, who was not 
very fond of the questioner, replied : " You put 
your little carcase up there, with a lighted pipe in 
your mouth, and you'll soon find out what it is." 


Tuke and I were very much together at this 
time, and our principal amusement was to potter 
about the harbour and the pools entering it, in a 
boat that we had chartered, and christened the 
"Forlorn Hope." 

Our temporary exile at Tipner being at an end, 
we returned to head-quarters ; and a day or two 
afterwards an order came down from the Horse Guards, 
to the effect that recruiting officers would shortly 
make their appearance, to take off a number of our 
men to the line. 

We were an excellent body, close on a thousand 
strong, and we had an exceptionally good Adjutant. 
We were splendidly set up and disciplined, and a 
finer regiment was never seen drilling on Southsea 
Common. Though not a very liberal man, the 
Colonel had spent a good deal of money upon his 
men. On one occasion, indeed, he defrayed out of 
his own pocket all the extra expenses attached to 
twenty-one days' training at Grantham. When he 
learnt that Her Majesty was about to take away a 
certain number of his regiment for active service, 
he became perfectly furious, and ordered the barrack 
gates to be shut. It was not until Colonel Fane 
pointed out to him that his ultimate destination, if 
he persisted in this course, would be the Tower, or 
some other building used for the incarceration of 
seditious persons, that he consented to countermand 
the order. 


The recruiting sergeants were admitted, and a 
commission was offered to every officer who, with 
the sanction and at the nomination of his Colonel, 
could get together a hundred men willing to follow 
him to the line. I was subaltern of the light company 
(there were flank companies in those days), and my 
Captain happened at the time to be absent. Upon 
my asking my men whether they would accept Her 
Majesty's bounty, and proceed as regulars to fight 
for their Queen and country, some fifty or sixty 
of them stepped out from the ranks. Poor fellows ! 
I believe they thought that, into whatever regiment 
they were drafted, they would go with their own 
officer, though this hope was doomed to disappoint- 
ment. As I was speaking to them, the Colonel came 
up, and said: "You have always done your duty" 
(I am afraid I was rather a favourite of his) " and 
I like parting with you as little as I do with my 
men ; but if a complement is made up, and you wish 
it, you shall go too." 

It was precisely the desire I had long entertained, 
and I accepted the offer with gratitude. A few days 
afterwards I learnt that in a short time I should 
receive a nomination to some regiment of the line. 

It was at Chichester and Portsmouth that I first 
made my appearance in amateur theatricals. We 
played at the Southsea Rooms, in aid of various 
charities, and it was there that I first became ac- 
quainted with Captain Disney Roebuck, with whom 


I was subsequently associated in my somewhat brief 
experience of the stage. 

About a fortnio-ht after the recruiting- in the barrack 

O O 

yard, I found myself gazetted to the 96th Foot, and, after 
a short term of leave, I joined my regiment at head- 
quarters in Dublin, in those days one of the cheeriest 
of garrison towns. Cumberland was the Colonel, Currer 
and Scovell were the Majors, and my Captain was a 
very good-natured Scotchman named Grant. 

A battalion of the 60th Rifles, the 16th Lancers, 
the Queen's Bays, and the K. D. G.'s were quartered 
in Dublin at the same time. Lord Carlisle was the 
Lord Lieutenant, and he kept up the Castle festivities 
with their usual pomp. 

It was while here that I nearly got into a mess that 
might have led to my early retirement from the service. 

It happened that a young fellow named , the son 

of a retired pawnbroker, had just ventured to join one 
of Her Majesty's regiments of cavalry, in the capacity of 
subaltern. The officers were furious, and everv device 

' / 

was resorted to to get rid of him. Hay was made 
in his room every day, and he was subjected to every 
sort of bear-fighting. While at one of the afternoon 

o o 

levees at the Castle, I met a subaltern of the , and 

he invited me to mess at the Portobello Barracks, 
telling me that there were a number of fellows coming 
from other regiments, and that there would be great 
fun. I accepted the invitation, and duly arrived at 
the barracks, where I found, among others, Bob Gracly, 

VOL. I. D 


of the 60th, C H (now a General, and in com- 
mand of a cavalry regiment), Jack Dillon, and the 

objectionable . After mess we adjourned to the 

junior officers' quarters, where a regular orgie took place. 
When the fun was at its height, it was suggested 

that we should have a mock trial, and that , the 

pawnbroker's progeny, should be arraigned for that he, 
not being able properly to speak Her Majesty's English, 

had ventured to join Her Majesty's . I was 

appointed counsel for the prosecution, and the upshot of 
the proceedings was that the offender was sentenced to 
have his moustache and whiskers removed. A large 
pair of scissors was procured, the poor wretch was held 
down by the two junior cornets, and, in spite of his 
shouts and struggles, the hair on one side .of his face 
was entirely removed. We got no further, however, for 
so violent grew his resistance that it was found im- 
possible to operate on the other side. 

At about three o'clock that morning four of us were 
on an outside car, proceeding home. The excitement 
was over, and no doubt the cool, fresh air had a 
sobering effect upon our minds. I remarked to the 
man sitting by my side, " There'll be a jolly row in the 
morning." And there was. 

After parade the Colonel called me out of the ranks, 
and, in a tone of severity, told me to go and report 
myself at the Portobello Barracks, and on my return to 
consider myself under arrest. On arriving at the 
barracks, I found, outside the mess-room, a knot of my 


companions of the night before, engaged in earnest 
conversation. I joined them, asking eagerly what was 
to be done, and whether they had interviewed our 
victim that morning. On receiving, with reference to 
the latter portion of my question, a reply in the 
negative, I suggested that the sooner this course was 
taken the better. Unless he got us out of the mess, I 
pointed out, the Colonel would be sure to report us to 
the Horse Guards, when it would be all up with us. 
The question was, who should do it, and, as nobody 
seemed particularly keen upon the idea, I volunteered 
to take the matter in hand myself. 

I went up to 's quarters, knocked at the door, 

and was ushered in. A ludicrous sight met my eyes. 
There stood , with enormous whiskers and mous- 
tache on only one side of his face ! I couldn't help it, 
and I burst out laughing, exclaiming : "My dear fellow, 
why don't you take off the other side ? It's the only 
way out of it/' Whether it was my good-humour, 
or the absurdity of his appearance, as reflected in the 
"lass, I cannot sav, but he, too, now burst out laughinGf, 

C ' / ^ * DO* 

and replied : " Upon my soul, I think you're right." 
I told him how sorry we all were for what had 

occurred, and begged that, when he was summoned to 

the orderly-room, he would do the best he could for us. 

He gave the required promise, which he faithfully kept; 

and in the end we were fortunate enough to escape with 

only a few days' arrest. 

Dublin was no end of a place for gaiety. In the 

D 2 


winter there were three or four balls every night, and 
in the summer any number of picnics to Bray and other 
beautiful spots in the neighbourhood of the Hibernian 

Among the smartest and best-looking of the fellows 
were Cootie Hutchinson, of the Bays, and his brother, 
Sir Edward, nicknamed Pat. Cootie and I were at 
Eton together, soldiers together, and, at the present 
time, are members of the same clubs too-ether. I don't 


know how it is with me, but as far as I can see, years 
have not in the least degree changed him. 

The Kingstown Regatta was a great function then, 
and the dinners at Salt Hill were events to be re- 

There was no chance of getting out to the Crimea in 
the 96th, as the regiment was the last on the roster 
for active service, and so I determined to exchange, 
This I succeeded in doing, though not without difficulty. 
I joined Her Majesty's 41st, the Welsh regiment. As 
it was actually out in the Crimea at the time, I had 
to report myself at the depot at "Walmer. 

My hopes were doomed to a bitter disappointment, 
however. Sebastopol was taken, the war was over, 
and, instead of my going out to the regiment, the 
regiment came home to me. 


I was a bit of a poet in those days, and composed 
a song on my new regiment. Its badge, I may state, 
was the Prince of Wales' feathers, and its uniform was 
scarlet, with white facings. The regimental band was 


always preceded by a goat. During the Eussian war 
no brigade distinguished itself more than that composed 
of the 44th, the 49th, and the 41st. This is the song 
that I composed : 

Her mountains mourn, her bards are gone. 

Who mourn the mighty dead 1 
In vain the Saxon pressed his heel 

Upon the Welshman's head : 
Cambria still lives ; her ardent sons 

Will yet maintain their ground - 
Long as the sun shall run his course, 

And shed his light around. 

That light shall still poor Cambria cheer, 

Amidst her darkened fate ; 
No more her children shed a tear 

Upon her fallen state. 
Fallen ! ah ! no, her kings shall rise, 

Resume their ancient power ; 
Cambria again shall be herself, 

And clouds no longer lower. 

Llewellyn shall resume his sway, 

Cadwallon king again ; 
All thoughts of former pain shall cease 

Hushed 'neath the harper's strain ; 
Then once again the wassail bowl 

Shall pass, and lays resound ; 
Songs sung in honour of the day, 

When Cambria stood her ground. 

Amidst the fight, who leads the van ? 

Whose hearts for glory thirst 1 
Go ask at Alma, Inkermann 

They'll say the Forty-first, 
Time shall not change Talhion's songs, 

The Eisteddfod still prevails, 
The Welsh their dauntless name preserve, 

Their chief, the Prince of Wales. 


This effusion gained for me the reputation of a poet, 
and one of the consequences was that a queer favour 
was asked of me. In the regiment was a great dunce, 
who experienced considerable difficulty in conducting 
his private correspondence. Being of a sentimental turn 
he had fallen over head and ears in love with one of 
the garrison beauties, and he came to me and begged 
that I would write a love-letter for him. I consented, 
but while engaged on the composition, he, apparently 
thinking I was approaching too near to popping the 
question, looked up and said : " Oh, I say, Monty, 
hang it all : hold hard, old fellow. Ain't that rather 

o ' 

too strong ? Don't you think we had better say some- 
thing about the weather ? ' 



Life at Walmer Unpleasant officers How I offended the Colonel 
The "Subalterns' Arms"- -I ask to be exchanged Our impecu- 
niosity How I humbugged the sheriff's officer I make a bolt 
for it Jumbo and I ask leave We proceed to London The 
newspaper advertisement Interviewing the money-lender His 
terms We call upon his "friend" A singular breakfast 
"Merely a matter of form" A disturbance in the street Jumbo 
and I arrested We are taken before the magistrate and fined 
Visit from " Captain Curtis "- -The trick played upon us -My 
father and godfather to the rescue I return to Walmer, and 
leave the service. 

MY life was not so pleasant at Walmer as it had 
been at Dublin and Portsmouth. The depot battalion 
system had just commenced, and under it I felt almost 
as though I were at school again. Then, too, I was 
not fortunate in my officers, which was the more 
unpleasant because I had been rather spoiled by those 
under whom I had previously served. The Colonel 
Commandant, whose name was Eyre, was a regular 
martinet ; and the second in command, Major Deverill, 
about as disagreeable a man as you could meet in a 
day's march. However, there were some very good 


fellows at the depot ; Captain Gregory, of the 44th, for 
instance, and Captain Earle, who afterwards exchanged 
into the Guards, and, as General Eaiie, met a soldier's 
death in Egypt. There were also some very decent 
comrades in my own corps. 

Unfortunately for me, I soon fell into the Colonel's 
bad graces. His antipathy, if I remember aright, dated 
from the time when Gregory, in a thoughtless moment, 
showed him some doggerel I had written. It had 
reference to the state of things then existing at the 
depot, and the following were some of the lines, which 
I repeat as well as I can remember them : 

But things now are changed, and these tatterdemalions 
Are ranged right and left into depot battalions. 
At "\Yalmer how warrn ! all will own who are fair, 
Though the climate is good, there's a d - nasty Eyre. 

I and two other subalterns Johnson, nicknamed 
Jumbo, and Warner desiring to supplement the ac- 
commodation afforded by our quarters in barracks, 
rented a little cottage just outside Deal. Among the 
other men, it came to be known as the " Subalterns' 
Arms," a name that perhaps will indicate, better than 
any description of mine, the festive uses to which the 
place was put. Somehow or other the Colonel came to 
hear about our cottage, and in consequence I received 
a severe reprimand. After dilating upon the enormity 
of our offence, he said : "You are the ringleader of the 
lot. No doubt you think yourself remarkably clever, 
what with your lampoons and your dramatic per- 


formances" (we had been having some amateur 
theatricals), <: but I can tell you this, sir if you want 
to stay here you'll have to turn over a completely new 

In a short time the head-quarters of the regiment 
returned from abroad, and became quartered at 
Shorncliffe. Knowing that, after what had occurred, 
I should never get on at the depot, I determined to go 
over and see Colonel Goodwin, the commanding officer 
of the regiment, and entreat him, if he wished me to 

O ' 

remain in the service, to exchange me for somebody at 
head-quarters. He was a very good fellow, and after 
reading me a lecture on my misdeeds, promised to have 
me transferred as soon as an opportunity should occur. 

The desired chance was a long while coming, and I 
was still at Walmer when circumstances arose that 
made it necessary for me to obtain leave of absence 
for a short time. All of us at the depot were in a 
terrible state of impecuuiosity, and I, Jumbo, and 
a comrade named Talmage were perfectly well aware, 
having received documents commencing, " Victoria, by 
the Grace of God," etc., that our personal liberty was 
threatened by the sheriff's officer. 

One morning, at a fall-dress parade, it was 
whispered that the minions of the law were in the 
barrack-yard. The instant we were dismissed, those 
who had to fear the worst bolted like rats to their 
quarters. As I was hurrying upstairs, and just as I 
was approaching my room, I came face to face with one 


of the unwelcome visitors. He stopped me, saying, 
' I beg your pardon, sir, but could you direct me to 
Mr. Williams' quarters ? " Having sent him off in the 
opposite direction, I ran into my room, left a message 
with my servant for some of my companions, and 
then fully equipped with shako, sword, and full- 
dress uniform I passed out at one of the back 
doors, and bolted across the fields in the direction 
of Sandwich. 

Luckily for me it was a Saturday. Another for- 
tunate circumstance was that Sandwich, at this time, 
was outside the district of the sheriff's officer. If I could 
only reach Sandwich and stay there until twelve at 
night, I knew I should be free to return to Walmer, and 
remain there over the Sunday, without fear of arrest. 

As I was crossing the fields, I met a pack of harriers 
in full cry. It was the pack that hunted in the 
immediate neighbourhood of Walmer, and most of the 
fellows were known to me. It amused them very much 
to learn how I came to appear among them in so 
unusual a costume. 

I reached Sandwich all right, and took up my 
quarters in the billiard-room of the hotel, whiling away 
my time by a game with the marker. Presently Jumbo 
and Talmage, who had been apprised of my proceeding 
by the message I had left with my servant, arrived in a 
dog-cart, and, at the proper time, they took me back to 
Walmer. In the morning it was necessary for me to go 
and make a clean breast of it to Eyre, and ask for leave 


to go up to London and raise the money to discharge 
my liabilities. Jumbo was forced to do the same, and 
he joined in my request for a fortnight's leave. 

I am bound to say that Eyre behaved rather well. 
Of course he was, or affected to be, very angry ; but he 
granted the request in both cases. There was no train 
on Sunday night from Deal, so we hired a trap and 
drove over to Dover, where we caught an express to 

On arriving in the metropolis, we proceeded to 
"Lane's Hotel," the habitual resort of subalterns in 
those days, and situated in a street just off the 
Haymarket. Here we determined to remain until we 
had accomplished the object of our journey. 

Jumbo had seen, in the columns of a daily paper, 
an advertisement headed, " To all who are in debt 
or difficulties," and offering accommodation upon the 
most benevolent and easy terms. The reader was 

directed to apply to A , at some number in Eegent 

Street, Waterloo Place. Here, then, was our man, 
and here was an end of all our difficulties ! 

On Monday morning we interviewed A . He 

was a fat, sleek, over-dressed, under-bred individual, 
wearing any number of rings ; and we found him 
in a gaudily-furnished office, smoking a very large 
cigar. After learning our errand, and inquiring what 
accommodation we required, he asked whether our 
commissions had been purchased (Jumbo's had), and 
various other questions. He then went on to say 

44 USURY. 

that he did not lend money himself, but that he had 
a friend in the neighbourhood who did, and that, if 
we would call arain on the following mornino-, he 

O O * 

would in the meantime see what could be done towards 
meeting our requirements. We called as directed on 
the following clay, and learnt that the money could 
be lent us upon a joint bill at three months, we 
paying, as I afterwards reckoned, about 130 per cent. 

interest for the accommodation, not to mention A 's 

commission of about 20. 

Our position was such that we greedily accepted 
the terms, whereupon we were taken to a house in 
Warwick Street, Golden Square. The door was opened 
by a very slipshod-looking servant, and we entered 
a passage where there was no oil- cloth, and which 
was as dirty a hole as ever I saw. Our conductor 
and guide requested us to remain here a few minutes, 
while he entered and interviewed his principal. Just 
as my stock of patience was becoming exhausted, 
A reappeared and ushered us in. 

On the front door, as I omitted to mention, was a 
brass plate, on which was the name of Cook. This Mr. 
Cook, we now learnt, was the individual who was to 
lend us the money. He was seated at a desk, engaged 
with what I presume was his breakfast, though the hour 
was nearly noon. The meal consisted of a sausage, and 
on no other occasion have I seen a sausage cut into such 
small pieces, or eaten with such deliberation. 

After addressing a few questions to us, Mr. Cook 


produced his cheque-book and proceeded leisurely to 
write out a cheque. The bill was for 500, from which 
sum he took care- to deduct the interest in advance, as 
well as the amount of the stamp and of A 's com- 
mission. The bill being signed, accepted, and endorsed, 
I put out my hand to grasp the cheque ; but it appeared 
that I was a little premature. Before the money became 
ours, we were told, there was another ceremony to be 
gone through. We were to be taken to a neighbouring 
solicitor's office, where there was a second document for 
us to sign " a mere matter of form," we were assured. 
We went, accordingly, to the solicitor's office, and, upon 
being again told that the proceeding was purely a 
formal one, we both of us signed the document without 
reading a word of it. 

Two nights afterwards, Jumbo and I, after going 
to the theatre, had supper at the " Cafe de 1'Europe," 
in the Haymarket. Just as we were leaving to 
proceed to the hotel (it was about one o'clock in the 
morning), we came across a crowd on the pavement. 
I should mention that at this time there were several 
of our brother officers in town, and, among the num- 
ber, Jack L -, whose name, as he has since turned 
parson and gone into the Church, I suppress. On 
running up to the crowd to see what was the matter, 

judge of our surprise to see L , as the central 

figure, in the grasp of a constable. He explained to us 
that, seeing the policeman brutally ill-treating a poor 
woman probably one of the midnight wanderers of 


the streets lie had raised a protest, whereupon the 
representative of the law put his knuckles well into 
his throat, and said he would take him to Vine 
Street Station. Knowing that I could rely upon what 

had been told me, and that L was innocent 

of any intention to break the peace, I endeavoured 
to set matters right, giving the policeman our names 
and addresses. While I was thus engaged, another 

O O ' 

policeman canie up and caught hold of me, where- 
upon we were dragged through the streets and taken 
to the station. 

To my horror and astonishment, we were charged 
with assaulting the police. The inspector, who, I 
am bound to say, was most courteous, put a number 
of questions to us ; after which, on sending for the 
proprietor of "Lane's Hotel," who came and bailed us 
out, we were released. Next morning we made our 


appearance before the worthy magistrate at Marl- 
borough Street, Mr. B- -n, who, after hearing 
the evidence of the constables, as well as of the 
witnesses who came forward on our behalf, decided, 
Heaven knows why, in favour of the police, fining 
us five pounds and binding us over to keep the peace. 
There was nothing for it, so we paid the fine and 
left the court ; and the next morning there appeared 
in the newspapers a charming little paragraph, headed 
" Officers and Gentlemen," setting forth the facts as 
stated by the constables, and, of course, giving our 
right names and addresses. 


Two clays after this, as Jumbo and I were break- 
fasting at the hotel, one of the waiters came up and 
said to me : " Captain Curtis wishes to see you, sir." 
I had known an officer of that name in the 15th 
Foot, and I at once told the waiter to show the gentle- 
man up. Now, any one less like a captain than the 
individual who appeared, I never saw. He* was both 
shabby and dirty. Approaching the table, he told 
me that he was a sheriff's officer, and that I must 
consider myself in his custody ; and he concluded 
with the request that I would at once follow him to 
the cab waiting outside. " "What is the meaning of 
this ? " I cried ; for I had paid the debt for which 
process had been issued against me at "Walmer. " I 
don't owe anything. There must be some mistake." 

" Oh, no," replied he, " it's right enough. It's at the 
suit of Mr. Cook, of Warwick Street." 

" But," I protested, " the bill was for three months, 
and I only signed it four days ago." 

"Ah, yes, sir," he said, "but you must forget 
signing another document at the same time. By doing 
so you confessed judgment, and you were liable to be 
arrested the moment you took your pen off the paper." 

Now I saw how we had been done. We had been 
caught in the money-lender's trap. I will not state here 
how, and under what circumstances, Mr. Cook and I 
met in after years, when I was practising my profession 
at the Bar. Suffice it for the present to say that I 
owed him a debt, and paid it with interest. 


I had at the time to appeal to my father and god 
father for assistance, which was, as it always had been, 
liberally and generously accorded me. The money was 
paid, and I was liberated. 

On my return to Walmer, I found a letter from 
Colonel Goodwin, ordering me to head-quarters, the 
opportunity having occurred to have me transferred. 

For several months I remained in camp, getting 
on fairly well, and then the regiment was ordered again 
on foreign service, its destination this time being the 
West Indies. Both Jumbo and I though he had 
served considerably longer than I had now had about 
enough of soldiering, and, therefore, a few days before 
the regiment sailed, we sent in our papers and retired. 



I stay with my parents at Beading Visit from Disney Boebuck 
Our amateur theatricals We resolve to go on the stage Our 
early engagements An eventful introduction Miss Keeley hears 
me my lines I meet Henry Irving Playing in the Potteries 
Mrs. Patch Why I went to Dublin My marriage My 
wife's parents We take a house in Pelham Street Another 
provincial tour Mrs. Wyndham Johnny Toole I leave the 
stage Beminiscences of Keeley Mrs. Keeley's versatility 
Adelphi dramas Visitors at Pelham Crescent Mr. and Mrs. 
Alfred Wigan Mr. and Mrs. Levy The Daily Telegraph 
Mr. Edward Lawson I enter at the Inner Temple Frank 
Burnand He and I write plays together I take a manuscript 
to Bobson The price paid for it. 

MY father and mother were at this time living at 
Beading, in Berkshire, and I went to stay with them 
for a few weeks. While there, Disney Roebuck came 
to visit me, and we got up some amateur theatricals. 
We played for several nights in the Town Hall, the 
pieces being, Delicate Ground (in which Roebuck took 
the part of Sangfroid and I that of Alfonse de 
Grandier), The Dream at Sea, The Wreck Ashore, 

VOL. I. E 


The Lady of Lyons, and Raising the Wind. At that 
time there was a military coach on Castle Hill, and 
it was from the ranks of his pupils that we formed 
our company. Among the number was ' Dolly ' 
Wombwell (brother to Sir George), Gumming, Palliser, 
and Haldane. 

It was as an outcome of those performances that 
Koebuck and I determined, if we could get engage- 
ments, to star in the provinces. I left the business 
arrangements to him, and in due time we started, 
our first town being Manchester. The lessee there was 
John Knowles, a man very well known in dramatic 
circles. A marble mason by trade, and a great 
connoisseur of pictures, he left the theatre almost 
entirely in the hands of his acting manager, Mr. 
Chambers. We played for a week, and met with 
considerable success. The pieces we opened with were 
The Wonder ; or, a Woman keeps the Secret Roebuck 
taking the part of Don Felix and I that of Colonel 
Britton and The Camp at Chobham, in which I 
sustained the role of Colonel Darner. From Man- 
chester we proceeded to Birmingham, where the lessee 
and manager was Mr. Simpson, and to Worcester 
and Coventry, the lessee of the theatres in those 
towns being Mr. J. Rogers. 

The next towns for which we procured engage- 
ments were Edinburgh and Glasgow, and it was at 
the former that the principal event of my life happened. 
Here it was that I first met the lady who was shortly 


to become my wife. The proprietors of the Theatre 
Royal were my now old friends, Mr. and Mrs. Robert 
Wyndham ; and it was Mrs. Wyndham to whom I 
owed the memorable introduction. 

Miss Louise Keeley, the youngest daughter of the 
celebrated Mr. and Mrs, Robert Keeley, was at that 
time starring in Edinburgh. Roebuck and I arrived on 

o o 

a Saturday, in readiness to commence on the Monday, 
and it happened that Miss Keeley 's engagement termi- 
nated on the following Thursday. On reaching the 
northern metropolis, having nothing better to do, we 
strolled round to the theatre to discuss arrangements 
with the manageress ; for it was Mrs. Wyndham who 
entirely superintended all matters of stage manage- 
ment, and was in fact chiefly responsible for the 
well-doino 1 of this most successful theatre. I was on 


the stage, leaning against one of the boxes, and my 
eyes were, I presume, wandering towards the talented 
little lady who was to become so great a blessing 
to a portion of my future. Mrs. Wyndham, calling 
me over, said: "I have much pleasure in introducing 
you to Miss Louise Keeley." We at once commenced 
a conversation, and very quickly became friends. The 
next day I, not being quite perfect in the part I was 
to play on the Monday night, was wandering in the 
neighbourhood of Arthur's Seat, studying my lines, 
when whom should I meet but the lady to whom I 
had been introduced on the previous morning. We 
walked together for a considerable time, and in the 

E 2 


end I asked her to hear me my part a favour that 
was at once granted. 


For the Thursday, Miss Keeley's last night, 
Mrs. Wyndham suggested that we should play London 
Assurance, Roebuck taking the part of Dazzle, I 
that of Charles Courtley, and Miss Keeley that of 
Grace Harkaway. As a matter of fact, the part 
of Charles Courtley, of which I had never seen a 
line, is one of the longest of the kind on the stage ; 
but so anxious was I to sustain the role that I at 
once agreed to the arrangement. To such good purpose 
did I put the short time at my disposal that, at the 
rehearsal on Thursday morning, I was letter-perfect. 
At night the play was a great success, and I have often 
heard Mrs. Wyndham say that in all her 'experience, 
she has never known Charles Courtley make love to 
Grace as naturally as I did on that occasion. 

It was at this theatre, and during this and sub- 
sequent engagements, that I came in contact with my 
friend Mr. Henry Irving, who was a stock actor in the 
company at that time, playing walking gentleman. 

From Edinburgh Eoebuck and I proceeded to 
Glasgow, the theatre there being under the management 
of Mr. Edmund Glover. From Glasgow we went to 
Perth, and from Perth to Newcastle, the lessee at the 
latter place being Mr. E. D. Davies. From Newcastle 
we proceeded to Hanley and other towns in the Pot- 
teries. I shall never forget those towns. At Bilston, 
one of them, on the morning after our arrival, we 


sallied forth to find the theatre. The most awful build- 
ing imaginable was pointed out to us, and when we got 
inside, we found that it was all pit and gallery, with no 
boxes or stalls. The manageress, Mrs. Patch, lived just 
outside the theatre, in a four-wheeled vehicle that looked 
uncommonly like a travelling caravan. We had 
arranged to play for our opening piece, The Wonderful 
Woman I taking the part of Crepin, the cobbler, and 
Roebuck that of the Marquis de Frontignac and upon 
presenting ourselves at rehearsal, we found the gentleman 
who was to sustain the role of the Count de Millefleur 
standing on a ladder with a pail of whitewash and a 
brush, busily engaged in distempering the ceiling. 
When rehearsal commenced, we were introduced to the 
leading lady, who was to play the part of Hortense, 
and found that she was none other than Mrs. Patch 
herself, a lady who must have turned the scale at 
fourteen or fifteen stone. 

Hanley was a primitive place, and so were all the 
towns in the Potteries. If the audiences there did 
not appreciate the merits of a debutant, their ordinary 
way of expressing displeasure was, as they termed it, 
''to heave half a brick at him." 

It was on leaving Hanley that Roebuck and I 
parted company ; he going home to his wife and 
family, who lived at Ryde, and I proceeding to 

On the Saturday after my arrival, on scanning 
the pages of The Era, I learnt that Miss Keeley was 


playing at the Queen's Theatre, Dublin, then under 
the management of Mr. Harry Webb. The fact is, 
I had completely lost my heart, and I determined to 
start at once for Dublin, taking my chance of 
obtaining an engagement there. I carried out my 
intention, and the engagement I formed was a 
matrimonial one. I duly proposed and was accepted, 
but as, so far as we were personally concerned, we were 
both, comparatively speaking, paupers, we knew that 
it would be useless to ask our parents' consent to the 
marriao-e. We therefore jot married without their 

o o 

consent, and without consulting any one. 

We came up to London, and my wife at once 
introduced me to her parents. They were, of course, 
at first rather angry with us for not having taken 
them into our confidences ; but they very soon re- 
lented, and we were forgiven. They were then living 
at Pelhani Crescent, Brompton, in the house that 
Mrs. Keeley still occupies. Though past the honoured 
age of three-score years and ten, she is, I am happy 
to say, almost as hale and hearty as ever. My wife 
and I took a small house in Pelham Street, in order 
to be near at hand, and, while it was being prepared 
for our reception, we went on another provincial 
tour. We obtained an engagement to play for a 
fortnight in Edinburgh, the period being subsequently 
extended to a month. We lived in lodgings in 
Prince's Street, and saw a great deal of the Wyndhams. 
Irving was still in their company, and it was during 


this eno-a^ement that he and I became the close 

o o 

friends we have ever since remained. 

In addition to her town house, Mrs. Wyndham 
had a country cottage, situated a few miles out of 
Edinburgh ; and the Sundays we passed there I now 
reckon among the happiest of my life. From Edinburgh 
we went to Belfast, where the lessee was a man named 
Cook, and it was during my stay in this town that 
I became acquainted with my good friend Johnny 
Toole. His engagement ran simultaneously with ours, 
and among the pieces we performed was The Winter 8 
Tale, he playing Autolycus, and my wife, Florizel. 
It was at this time that I first heard him sing his 
afterwards celebrated song, "A 'norrible Tale." 

From Belfast we proceeded to Sunderland and 
South Shields, the theatres there being the property 
of Sam Eoxby, the brother of William Beverley, Bob 
Eoxby, and Harry Beverley names well known in all 
theatrical circles. We played at Sunderland and South 
Shields for about a fortnight, and took Nottingham 
on our way home, having accepted an offer from Mrs. 
Savile to perform there for a few nights. 

This was the end of my experience as an actor, 
for, on our return to Pelhani Street, as the result of 
a long conversation with my father-in-law, I determined 
to leave the stage and enter myself as a student at 
one of the Inns of Court. 

It was now that I made the acquaintance of many 
theatrical and literary people. Brompton was the 


quarter in which they mostly resided, and the Keeleys' 
house was not the least hospitable in the neighbourhood. 
It is a curious thing that, in my school days, when 
I came up to town to spend the holidays with friends, 
I always showed a fondness for theatres, and above 
all for the Adelphi, where the Keeleys were principally 
engaged. This was before they became lessees, first 
at the Lyceum, and then, in partnership with Charles 
Kean, at the Princess's. 

Who ever saw a better exponent of terror and 
cowardice than Mr. Keeley ? I shall never forget him 
in The Serjeant's Wife, in which he played Eobin to 
Mrs. Keeley 's Margot. There is one situation in the 
piece that lives especially in my memory. Eobin finds 
out that he is the servant of a band of robbers, that 
they have been committing no end of murders, and 
that the bodies of the victims have been buried in 
the wood-house. He comes and relates the discovery 
to his wife, and tells her how, on going into the 
wood-house to get some wood, " I saw his heels, 
Margot, I saw his heels." Then, again, I well re- 
member how, in describing a conversation he had 
had with his master, the captain of the band, he 
states what his feelings were when the robber patted 
him on the head, with the words : " Eobin, Eobin, 
how plump you are ! " 

The humorous predominated in Keeley, and he was 
particularly strong as the comic servant. In this 
personification he made no pretence to virtue, and 


yet, even in his moments of abject terror, he was never 
quite despicable. Somehow or other he contrived to 
make you feel that courage ought not to be expected 
of him. 

Mrs. Keeley was more versatile than her husband. 
She was especially good in pathetic parts. I never saw 
her Jack Sheppard, but I believe it was a marvel. 
Her Lucille, in the play of that name, taken from 
Bulwer's " Pilgrims of the Rhine," was a perfect gem ; 
and -who, on the other hand, does not remember her 
Betsy Baker, and her acting in Twice Killed, That 
Blessed Bciby, etc. ? 

How well I remember the dramas played at the 
Adelphi in my early days ! What dramas they were ! 
The hero was taken by Benjamin Webster, the finest 
melodramatic actor I ever saw, not even excepting 
Lemaitre. He was magnificent in The Willow Copse, 
Jannet Pride (in which Keeley also was immense), 
and Geneviiice ; or the Chevalier de Maison Rouge, 
which I saw with a remarkable cast : Webster was 
Dixmer ; Alfred Wigan, Lorin ; Leigh Murray, the 
Chevalier ; Mrs. Keeley, the flower girl of the Temple; 
and Celeste, the heroine. Then again, after the Keeleys 
had left the Adelphi, among the pieces given were The 
Green Bushes and The Flowers of the Forest, in both of 
which it was my privilege to see Wright and Paul 
Bedford in their inimitable roles. 

Keeley was quite as funny off the stage as he was 
on ; indeed, I always thought that, if possible, he was 


even more so. He delighted in telling a story, and the 
expression of his face always made you roar with 
laughter before he began. 

We became great friends with Edmund Yates and 
his beautiful wife, Shirley Brooks, Dickens, Blanche, 
Albert Smith (who married my only sister-in-law, 
Mary), Charles Mathews, and Frank Talfourd, not 
to forget "Old Frankie " and Mrs. Frank Matthews, 
whose hospitable house in Linden Grove was always 
crowded with friends. 

Mr. Keeley was very fond of telling stories of his 
wife, to whom he was most devotedly attached, and 
I remember one of them that caused a good deal of 
merriment as related. Shirley Brooks, it appeared, 
had gone to live in a little cottage iu the country, 
where he devoted himself, among other things, to 
the rearing of fowls, ducks, and pigs. One day a pig 
was killed, and he sent a portion of the animal in a 
parcel to Mrs. Keeley, with these lines : " His end 
was peace, so I send you a piece of his end." Roaring 
with laughter, the old gentleman would say, alluding 
to his wife : " Mother was telling the story the other 
day to somebody sitting next to her at dinner, and she 
remarked, ' So clever of Shirley, you know ; when he 
sent us the parcel he wrote on a piece of paper inside, 
" His end was peace, so I send you a bit of the pig." 

This is another story Mr. Keeley was never tired of 
telling. In his early married life, he, Jack Eeeve, Frank 
Matthews, and some others were in the habit of re- 


pairing to Kilpack's, a cigar shop and bowling alley, next 
door to Evans's in Covent Garden. Upstairs was a 
small sort of club, and, going there on Saturday night 
to play unlimited loo, they would sometimes remain 
until five or six o'clock on Sunday morning. On one 
occasion, it appeared, on going home to his lodgings in 
Lono- Acre, at some such unseasonable hour as this, 

O y 

Mr. Keeley found his better half fast asleep. It 
happened that he was carrying in his pocket a bundle 
of notes, representing his and his wife's salary, which 
had been paid that afternoon, and he proceeded to 
carefully deposit them all in one of his boots, afterwards 
creeping noiselessly into bed. In the morning, Mrs. 
Keeley, as was her custom, rose early and without 
disturbing her husband. 

Frank Matthews was in the habit of calling every 
Sunday morning to go with Mr. Keeley for a walk over 
Hampstead, or in the neighbourhood of Putney, or 
elsewhere. On this particular Sunday, on his arrival he 
found " Mary Mother," as he called her, in the sitting- 
room, in tears. Upon his asking, " Where is Bob ? ): 
she replied: "Where should he be but fast asleep in 
bed ? Nice hours to keep five o'clock in the morning 
indeed ! You ought to be ashamed of yourself, Frank, 
for I'm sure you were with him. What's worse, on 
looking in his pocket, I find that he's lost all our 
money." "But, my dear," said Frank, "that's im- 
possible. I was with him all the time, and he couldn't 
possibly have lost it. Why, I walked with him as far 


as the door, too, so you must be making a mistake." 
" No, no," she sobbed, " I'm not making a mistake. 
All my hard-earned money is gone there's not a 
shilling left." 

Frank went into the next room to see if his friend 
was awake, and to learn whether the facts were as 
stated. He found Keeley sitting up in bed, screaming 
with laughter. " Shut the door, Frank, shut the door," 
he cried ; and when this had been done, he said, with 
that extraordinary twinkle that so often appeared in his 
eye: "She thought I was asleep. First, she searched 
my waistcoat, then my trousers, and then my coat, but 
found nothing. It's all right, Frank, the money's in 
my boots." 

Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Wigan were great friends of 
the Keeleys. Mrs. Wigan's Christian name was 
Leonora, and she had acted with Mrs. Keeley and 
been a friend of hers before their marriages. One day 
while we were sitting at dinner in Pelham Crescent, 
somebody remarked that Mrs. Wigan was eating 
nothing, whereupon she replied : " Oh, I never have 
much of an appetite, have I, Bob ? Don't you 
remember wheH you used to put a pea upon my plate, 
and say, ' There, that's Leonora's dinner ' ? ' : I shall 
never forget the old gentleman turning round to me 

O O ^ 

and quietly saying : " Upon my soul, I never put a pea 
upon her plate." It was not that there was anything in 
what he said ; the humour lay in the indescribable 
manner in which he said it. 


"When I was a student at the Temple, a dinner- 
party was given, I believe in my interest, to people 
connected with the legal professions. Among those 
present was a solicitor of Eastern origin, and Mrs. 
Keeley, knowing her husband's antipathy to Jews, 
warned him to be careful what he said before his guest, 
adding : "You know it would never do to offend him ; 
he may be so useful to Montagu." The dinner went 
off all right, and afterwards a rubber of whist was 
suggested. This was Mr. Keeley 's favourite amuse- 
ment, and he used to play almost every afternoon at 
the Garrick, of which club he was an old and much 
esteemed member. We cut for partners, it falling 
to my lot to play with Joe Langford, while Keeley 
was paired with the Eastern gentleman. In the 
middle of the game, while the cards were being dealt, 
Keeley 's partner remarked to him : 

"Mr. Keeley, I have always been against the 
intermarriages of Jews and Christians. You know, 
there are so few of the one in comparison with the 
other, and if these marriages took place to any extent, 
the whole Hebrew race would be merged, and there 
would be no Jews." 

To which Mr. Keeley, who hated conversation 
during whist, retorted angrily : 

" And a d good job, too." 

I shall never forget the missis's face ! 

Not many mouths before his death, Keeley was 
playing whist at the Garrick, his partner being Henry 


James, now Sir Henry. When the rubber was over, 
after a moment's thought, he turned to James and 
asked : 

" Why didn't you lead spades ? " 

The answer was : 

" I didn't think it the game." 

" Well, then, you're a fool," said Keeley, and 
petulantly shuffled out of the room. 

Of course we were all rather astonished ; but nobody 
ever took much notice of what he said, and the matter 
passed off with a laugh. A few days afterwards, as 
James was passing up the staircase at the Garrick, 
on his way to the card-room, Keeley 's four-wheeled 
cab drew up at the door, and the old gentleman 
alighted. Catching sight of the receding figure of 

o o o o o 

the future Attorney-General, he rattled with his stick 
upon the tesselated pavement, and cried out " Hi ! " 

James, seeing who it was, at once ran back, never 
doubting that he was about to receive an apology 
for what had recently taken place. 

" I have been thinking," said Keeley, with the 
stolid expression his face so often wore, " over that 
little affair about the spades, and I find that I was 
right you are a fool." 

Keeley was a man of remarkable generosity and 
kindness of heart, an excellent friend and the cheeriest 
of companions. He was very much attached to the 
husband of his daughter Mary, Albert Smith, who, 
as all that knew him can testify, was himself one 


of the liveliest and best of companions. Unlike Keeley, 
however, his jokes and stories were not untinged 
with acidity. 

It was during the first year of my married life 
that I became acquainted with Mr. and Mrs. Levy. 
Tlie Daily Telegraph was then in its infancy. The 
paper-duty had not been repealed, and Mr. Joseph 
Moses Levy, the principal proprietor of the new 
journal, lived at the West Central part of London, 
in Doughty Street, Mecklenburgh Square. Here I 
was ever a welcome guest, as I have since been at 
Eussell Square and Lancaster Gate. Mr. Levy's 
eldest son, Edward (now Edward Lawson), under 
whose management the paper has been such an 
enormous and world-wide success, had just married 
Benjamin Webster's daughter, who was one of the 
most beautiful and accomplished women in London. 
My acquaintance with her dates back to some period 
before her marriage. I may say here, speaking of 
the Levys generally, that a more hospitable, pleasant, 
and unassuming family did not exist. They were 
strict Jews, and brought up their numerous family 
according to all the rites and ceremonies of the reli- 


gion, keeping most rigidly all the Hebrew feasts and 

Before being called to the Bar, I had to spend 
three years as a student at the Inner Temple. I ate 
my dinners in the same mess with my old friend and 
school-fellow Frank Burnand, and with Henry (now 


Baron Henry) de Worms. The latter had been study- 
ing as a medical student, but his inclinations on the 
subject of a profession had undergone a change. We 
three attended the lectures together, and, principally 
owing to Frank's good stories and excruciating jokes, 
were on more than one occasion nearly expelled from 
the lecture-room. 

Frank was living in Sydney Street, Brompton, 
and I was still at Pelham Street. With a view to 
making a little money during our student days, we 
became hangers-on to the skirts of literature. We 
wrote for one or two small papers, did London letters 
for locals, and were interested in a little venture of 
the magazine type, called The Drawing-Room. 

It was at this time, too, that Frank and I became 
partners in dramatic authorship. One day I called at 
Sydney Street with a bright face. The fight between 
Tom Sayers and the Benicia Boy was on the tapis at 
the time, and it had given me what I conceived to be 
a splendid idea for a farce. I imparted the plot to 
Frank, and he was immensely taken with it. We set to 
work at once, I walking about the room, and Frank 
wielding the pen. It was eleven o'clock when we com- 
menced, and by half-past three that afternoon we had 
finished our work. With the ink scarcely dry I ran 
round with the MS. to Pelham Crescent, eager to show 
it to my father-in-law. Having read it, he put it down 
with these words : "I wish I was still acting, for I 
should like to play it myself. You needn't have any 


fear of getting rid of it. Take it round to-night to 
Robson at the Olympic he'll jump at it." I did as he 

Albert Smith used to say, and I am inclined to 
agree with him, that there is only one person of 
a lower grade than the call-boy at a theatre, and 
that is the author. If he is an unknown man, he 
has to overcome many difficulties before he can see 
the manager. I had forgotten to ask Mr. Keeley 
for a letter of introduction, which would have been 
safe conduct to the presence of Mr. Emden, then 
Robson's acting manager and partner. Robson had 
another partner, who occupied the supreme position, 
as he represented the money. This gentleman was, 
and is, a well-known Conservative Member of Par- 
liament, distinguished as a connoisseur of pictures, 
and I happen to know that he made a very good 
thing out of his connection with the Olympic. 

After being kept waiting for about three-quarters 
of an hour in the passage leading to the green- 
room, I was ushered into the presence of Mr. Emden. 
I told him my errand, produced the MS., and men- 
tioned what Mr. Keeley had said about it. He 
promised that when Robson came off the stage (he 
was then playing Shylock in Frank Talfourd's 
burlesque) they would read the farce together, and 
let me know their verdict at once. He then left 
me, but in due time reappeared, and made the 
welcome announcement that both he and Robson 

VOL. I. F 


were very pleased with the farce, and that, if we 
could come to terms, it should be put in rehearsal 
at once. He added that, as they could not make 
me an offer before first consulting their partner, he 
would feel obliged if I would call again next day. 
I did as directed, and on the following morning was 
offered thirty pounds for the sole London right of the 
farce ! Being desperately hard up and knowing that 
Frank was in the same plight, and being perfectly 
ignorant on the subject of authors' remuneration, I 
at once closed with the offer, and took the cheque. 
When I returned, Frank received his fifteen pounds 
with delight, but my father-in-law called me a fool 
for having taken so small a sum. He was right, for 
the farce was an enormous success and aided in 
keeping the theatre going for months, it being per- 
formed for something like two hundred nig;hts. In 

o o 

those days, be it remembered, a farce could take a 
very strong hold upon the public. There was a 
half-price to all parts of the theatre, and the farce 
was often the staple commodity of the management. 

Shortly after my transaction at the Olympic, Alfred 
Wigan took the St. James's Theatre, in partnership 
with Miss Herbert. Having heard of the success of our 
farce, he sent for me, and said he had a French drama 
that he was desirous of adapting, and asked whether 
Frank and I would undertake the work. I readily 
assented, whereupon he produced La Dame de St. 
Tropcz. saying that he wished the adaptation to be 


ready in a fortnight, and promising, upon its production, 
supposing he were satisfied with our work, to hand us a 
cheque for one hundred pounds. I agreed to the terms, 
the work was done, and the play was produced. It 
proved very successful, and had what in those days was 
a very long run. From that time Frank and I devoted 
ourselves to dramatic authorship, and we managed to 
get several little pieces produced either in collaboration 
or otherwise placed at various London theatres. 

P 2 



Serjeant Parry's advice I enter Mr. Holl's chambers Attending the 
Sessions The resolution I come to I am called to the Bar 
My first brief Pleasure gives way to fright I lose the case 
My despair Hardinge-Giffard, Sleigh, Metcalfe, Ballantine, and 
others Messrs. Lewis and Lewis Bob Orridge's bet An 
exception to the general rule. 

As soon as I had resolved to read for the Bar, I, by the 
desire of my father-in-law, visited his old friend Serjeant 
Parry, to learn what steps I should take, preparatory to 
being called, to ground myself in the rudiments of my 
future profession. The first thing he did was to write 
out a list of law books for me to read. This list, I may 
remark in passing, was so lengthy, that, had I attempted 
to exhaust it, the task would probably have occupied 
me to the present day. Indeed, I think I may say, 
basing the statement on my long subsequent ac- 
quaintance with the Serjeant, that it is more than 
doubtful whether he himself ever read all the books 
that he thus brought under my notice. 

Serjeant Parry's next recommendation was a more 


practical one. It was that I should enter the chambers 
of some barrister who was a good pleader, and in large 
junior civil business. He suggested two suitable persons, 
Mr. Holl and Mr. Macnamara, who jointly occupied the 
ground floor of No. 5, Paper Buildings, and to each of 
whom he gave me a letter of introduction. I first saw 
Mr. Macnamara. Being full of pupils, he referred me 
to Mr. Holl, kindly stating, however, that I might have 
the run of his chambers. Macnamara, who was the 
brother of the celebrated Mrs. Nesbit, afterwards 
became a Kailway Commissioner, and has since died. 
I arranged to become the pupil of Mr. Holl for twelve 
months, savins; him an honorarium of one hundred 

7 O O 

guineas, to obtain which sum I had to pinch myself 
not a little. 

There was a vacant room on the basement when I 
joined Holl's chambers, and this was subsequently 
occupied by Mr. Butterworth, one of the ablest pleaders 
of the day, and, after Chitty and Bullen, I suppose one 
of the most successful. 

There was plenty to engage the attention of a 
student, if he were only industrious. For my part, 
I was resolved that my hundred guineas should not 
be thrown away ; and I believe I may say that I 
was always the first to arrive at the chambers in the 
morning, and the last to go away at night. 

My inclinations had always been towards criminal 
work ; and when I grew tired of poring over pleas 
and dry opinions, it was my invariable custom, w r hen 


the Sessions were on, to repair to the Central Criminal 
Court otherwise known as the Old Bailey where I 
sat listening intently to the trials. I resolved at the 
time that, when I was called to the Bar, I would 
devote myself in a great measure, if not exclusively, 
to criminal business. I used occasionally to drop in 
at the Middlesex Sessions, where I found many of 
the barristers to whom I listened at the Old Bailey. 
Mr. (afterwards Sir) William Bodkin was the presiding 
Judge at the Sessions House ; the Deputy- Assistant 
Judge, who sat in the Second Court, being Mr. Tom 

The time of my apprenticeship being up, I was 
duly called to the Bar. Frank Burnand preceded me 
by three months, and was .attending at the Old Bailey 
when I joined it. I don't think he remained there 
more than a year, however. After mature delibera- 
tion, he resolved to leave the law, and devote himself 
entirely to literature. 

I was called on the 30th day of April, 1862, and 
at once commenced to attend the Central and other 
Criminal Courts of the metropolis. Holl, with whom 
I had remained up to the time of my call, kindly 
permitted me to continue in his chambers until I 
should feel my feet. 

For one or two Sessions I hung about the Courts 
doing nothing, waiting for that knock and inquiry at the 
chambers' door for which so many have, with aching 
hearts, waited for years, and, alas ! waited in vain. 


It so happened, about three months after I became 
a barrister, that Charles Voules (who, as I have already 
mentioned, was a solicitor at Windsor) had a prose- 
cution against a man for stealing a horse in the 
neighbourhood of Staines a district that lay within 
the jurisdiction of the Central Criminal Court. Feeling 


a friendly interest in me as an old Etonian, and being 
anxious to give me my first brief, he placed this 
prosecution in my hands. 

How proud and delighted I felt at first ! But 
when the Session came on, and the day of trial arrived 


after I Lad carefully scored under each sentence 
of the brief, and, in fact, learnt off every word of 
it by heart a kind of stage-fright seized me, and I 
went to everybody, begging that they would take 
the responsibility off my hands. Nobody would 
relieve me of the brief, however, and there was I 
left with my bottle-imp ! 

In due time the prisoner entered the dock, and 
pleaded "Not Guilty." Then, just as the trial was 
about to commence, I learnt, for the first time, that 
the prisoner was to be defended by Mr. Kibtou, who, 
though an excellent fellow in his way, was not exactly 
the sort of person a youngster would like to meet as 
his first opponent. I shall never forget that trial. 
When I looked at the jury they seemed to dance 
before my eyes, and instead of twelve men I seemed 
to see about four times that number. The presiding 
Judge was the then Recorder of London, Mr. (afterwards 


the Eight Hon.) Eussell Gurney. I shall have a good 
deal to say about him before long, but suffice it for 
the present to remark in passing that, as my subsequent 
observation and experience proved, he was the very 
best criminal Judge that ever sat upon the bench. 

The case was a weak one against the prisoner, I 
am bound to admit; but I think if it had been 
ever so strong, I should have made a mess of it. I 
floundered through my opening, I called my witnesses, 
and Mr. Eibton proceeded to address the jury for 
the defence. Then the Judge summed up, and the 
jury, without a moment's hesitation, pronounced a 
verdict of "Not Guilty." In my agony, thinking 
that a great miscarriage of justice had taken place 
on account of my stupidity, I jumped up, and, Heaven 
knows why, exclaimed : 

" My lord, what's to become of the horse ? " 
Looking at me somewhat severely, the Judge said : 
" What is that to do with you, sir ? Don't you 
think you've done enough ? " 

I'm sure he did not mean what I thought he meant ; 
but I left the Court almost broken-hearted. Rushing 


home to my wife, at Gunter Grove, Fulham, where 
we were living at the time, I utterly collapsed, and 
cried out : 

"My dear, I shall never go into Court again. I've 
mistaken my profession. I must try something else." 

It was very easy to talk about trying something 
else, but it would have been more difficult to find 


something else to try ; for had I not already exhausted 
every means of making money that suggested itself? 
Of course I had spoken on the spur of the moment, 
while suffering acute mortification ; and it was not 
long before I found my way back to the Old Bailey. 

The criminal Bar was a very close borough in those 
days, and work was, for the most part, in the hands 
of a few. These were Hardino-e-Giffard (now Lord 

O V 

Halsbur}^), Mr. (afterwards Serjeant) Sleigh, Metcalfe, 
Orridge, Poland, Ribton, and John Best. The solicitors 
principally associated with the practice were Hum- 
phreys and Morgan, Wontner and Son, and Lewis and 
Lewis, all of whom divided their business, generally 
speaking, among their own particular men. Thus 
Hardinge-Giffard and Poland (who afterwards succeeded 
Clarke and Besley as counsel to the Treasury at the 
Central Criminal Court) acted for the Humphreys ; 
Metcalfe and Orridge for the Wontners ; and Serjeants 
Ballantine, Parry, and Sleigh for the Lewises. The 
last-named firm also availed themselves of the services 
of F. H. Lewis, while, in subsequent years, they gave 
a great deal of their business to me. 

Sleigh was a great public man, and the delight of the 
publicans. Probably his licensing business was the 
largest ever enjoyed by any counsel. 

The solicitors who did the lion's share of the work 
were Lewis and Lewis. Their office was in Ely Place, 
where Mr. George Lewis, the sole survivor of the firm, 
carries on his business to this day. 


The character of the place has greatly changed. It 
used to be a very dirty, dull, and depressing place, 
where only a few clerks were to be seen. I remember, 
when the firm were acting for The Daily Telegraph, 
hearing poor Lionel Lawson describe a visit he paid 

" I was shown into a back room," he said, " where I 
was kept waiting for about half an hour. It was for all 
the world like a prison cell, and when I had been there 
ten minutes, I felt convinced that I was a felon of some 
description, and before I left I was perfectly certain that 
I had committed every crime known to the criminal 

Little James Lewis, the head of the firm, was a very 
sharp-looking fellow. He attended principally to the 
criminal classes indoors. George Lewis, who was a very 
smart young man, and a most successful cross-examiner, 
did the principal business at the Police Courts. Old 
" Uncle George," the brother of the senior partner, 
looked after the insolvency, bankruptcy, dramatic, and 
civil business, in a room at the top of the house. In 
those days, there was an enormous quantity of insolvency 
and bankruptcy cases, and I should be sorry to say how 
many impecunious upper and middle class men were 
duly whitewashed through the intervention of " Uncle 
George." His counsel in this work was usually Mr, 
(afterwards Serjeant) Sargood. " Uncle George " was 
solicitor to the Dramatic Authors' Society, and nearly all 
the dramatic business of London was in his hands. 


Kind-hearted and generous, no one, however poor, ever 
applied to him for advice in vain. 

James Lewis lived in Euston Square, and ' Uncle 
George" in Woburn Place. Though they were daily 
brought into contact with the black side of human 


nature, I never met two more pleasant and simple- 
minded men. In later years, I always dined at the 
old gentleman's house on his birthday, and enjoyed 
the privilege of proposing his health. He was one 
of my best friends, and to him I owe a great deal of 
whatever success I have attained. 

So far as I have observed, adversity is a remarkably 
easy thing to bear, and prosperity about as difficult. 
Very few of those I have known have been improved 
by the latter ; but I am about to draw attention to 
a noticeable exception to the rule in the person of 
the present Lord Chancellor, Lord Halsbury. 

At the time I commenced to practise, I remember 
Bob Orridffe making a bet with Metcalfe, I think for 

O O 

ten pounds, that, within twelve years, Hardinge-Giffard 
-then one of our leaders at the Central Criminal Court 
and the Middlesex Sessions would become Attorney- 
General, and that, before he ended his career, he would 
become Lord Chancellor. Both those anticipations have 
been fulfilled, though poor Bob did not live to reap 
the fruits of his prophecy. Hardinge-GifTard became 
Solicitor-General, then Attorney-General, and he is now 
Lord High Chancellor, keeper of the Queen's conscience. 
Lord Halsbury by rank, he is still Hardiuge-Giffard by 


nature, and this consideration will encourage me, by- 
and-by, to relate certain anecdotes of him dating from 
the time when we fought together in the arena of 
criminal practice, he on the side of the Crown, and I, 
acting as a free lance, for the defence. 

o * 



The extent of my practice The case of Catherine Wilson A 
description of her crimes Our defence What the Judge said 
Statement by the Lincoln police officer The verdict The accused 
rearrested A fresh trial Bodies of the victims exhumed Some 
pointed observations from the bench "Guilty" Mr. Justice 
Byles His lordship's comments in private Anecdote of Mr. F. 
Mr. Arthur Collins and the point that was overlooked A 
painful case The subscription we started My first introduction 
to Messrs. Lewis and Lewis Eeminiscences of Ballantine An 
embarrassing position Kibton's verbosity I act as Ballantine's 
junior in a gross case of fraud His advice about fees The little 
Jewish solicitor. 

I THINK I may safely say that I have defended more 
prisoners than any other living man. My practice 
extended from 1862 to 1886. 

One of the first important cases with which I was 
associated was that of Catherine Wilson. She was 
charged before Baron Bramwell with administering one 
ounce of sulphuric acid to Sarah Carnell, with intent 
to murder her. She was defended by Mr. Oppenhein 
and myself, though, as my leader was engaged in 


another Court during the trial, the work really devolved 
solely upon nie. Ribton appeared for the prosecution. 

The prisoner was a nurse, and in that capacity had 
attended the prosecutrix. One day, she had volun- 
teered to fetch some medicine for the invalid, who 
was in bed, and after an absence of about twenty 
minutes had returned with something that she described 
as a soothing draught. The unfortunate woman, in 
her evidence, said she saw nothing at the bottom of 
the glass into which the prisoner poured the liquid. 
While she was holding it, however, she felt it grow 
warm in her hand. The prisoner said : 

"Drink it down, love; it will warm you." 

The witness took a mouthful, but it was so hot 
that she at once spat it out upon the bed-clothes. 
Then she called her husband, and said to him : 

"William, take this medicine back to the doctor. 
He has sent me the wrong one." 

Upon looking down at the bed-clothes, the invalid 
saw that, where the liquid had fallen, the counterpane 
was full of burnt holes. 

The defence was the usual one ; that the doctor was 
out when the prisoner called, and that the lad of fifteen 
in temporary charge had given the wrong medicine. 
Baron Bramwell, in his remarkably shrewd, plain- 
speaking way, in summing up, pointed out that the 
theory of the defence was an untenable one, as, had 
the bottle contained the poison when the prisoner 
received it, it would have become red-hot or would 


have burst, before she arrived at the invalid's bedside. 
However, there is no accounting for juries ; and, at 
the end of the Judge's summing-up, to the astonish- 
ment probably of almost everybody in Court, the 
foreman asked leave to retire. 

It was rather late I think about seven in the 
evening when the jury left their box. As I sat in 
Court, waiting anxiously for the verdict, a stranger 
came up to me, and, placing his hand on my gown, 
said : 

" Very ingenious, sir, but if you succeed in getting 
that woman off, you will do her the worst turn any 
one ever did her." 

Considerably astonished, I turned round and closely 
questioned the speaker. I learnt that he was a 
member of the Lincoln police force, and that he 
had instructions, if the prisoner were acquitted, to 
take her into custody on seven separate charges of 
wilful murder. If she were convicted (when, of course, 
she would be sentenced to penal servitude, either for 
life or a considerable number of years), the authorities, 
it appeared, had determined to take no further action. 

At about a quarter to nine the jury returned, 
and, upon Mr. Avory, the well-known Clerk of 
Arraigns, asking if they had agreed upon a verdict, 
the foreman pronounced one of " Not Guilty." 

An expression of delight came upon the face of 
the woman, whose appearance, by-the-bye, was a very 
peculiar one, her chin being the most receding one I 


have ever seen. She turned round abruptly to leave 
the dock, but the instant her foot was on the floor 
of the Court, she was arrested by the officer who 
had recently addressed me. 

On Thursday, the 25th September, in the same 
year 1862 Catherine Wilson was tried for the 
murder of Maria Soames, the case coming before 
Mr. Justice Byles. Messrs. Clarke and Besley, who 
then represented the Treasury, appeared for the pro- 
secution, and I appeared for the defence. 

The murder was alleged to have been committed in 
October, 1856. It appeared that the prisoner had 
acted as nurse during an illness of the deceased, giving 
her her medicine, and generally administering to her 
wants. In the course of the case it transpired that 
six or seven persons with whom the prisoner had 
lived as nurse, and who, strangely enough, had nearly 
all of them been suffering from gout, had suddenly 
died. As the charge had reference to the murder of 
a particular person, however, detailed evidence in the 
other cases was not admitted. The medical man, on 
beino- called, stated that he had refused a certificate 

O * 

in the case of Maria Soames, though, on making a 
post mortem examination, he was disposed to attribute 
death to natural causes. Owing to the facts that had 
transpired, however, he was now prepared to attribute 
death to an over-dose of colchicurn, or some other 
vegetable irritant poison. 

To cut a long story short, I may say that it was 


proved, in this and the other cases, that the prisoner 
had so ingratiated herself with her patients as to induce 
them either to leave hei considerable sums of money 
in their wills, or to make her handsome gifts in their 
lifetime, and that, so soon as she had accomplished 
this object, she quickly despatched them. 

She was anxious, it would seem, that no inquiries 
should be made as to the reason for the gifts and 

After the first trial, the bodies of the victims were 
exhumed, with the result that traces of the poison 
were discovered. I based my defence on the sup- 
position (then entertained in the scientific world, but 
since proved to be false) that it was impossible to 
detect the presence of vegetable poison in the blood 
after a short time had elapsed. On this vital point, 
the principal witness examined was the celebrated 
Dr. Alfred Swayne Taylor, Professor of Medical Juris- 
prudence at Guy's. 

I shall never forget the Judge's summing-up, the 
concluding words of which were about as deadly as any- 
thing of the kind I have ever heard. 

" Gentlemen, if such a state of things as this were 
allowed to exist," he said, " no living person could sit 
down to a meal in safety." This, too, when the jury 
were about to take their luncheon ! 

After due consideration a verdict of " Guilty " was 
returned ; the other indictments were not proceeded 
with, and the prisoner was sentenced to death. 

VOL. I. G 


Mr. Justice Byles, when at the Bar, had been one of 
the most acute advocates of the day. He knew his 
juries thoroughly well, never went too far with them, 
and got his verdicts almost as he liked. 

After the trial to which I have just referred, Mr. 
Justice Byles sent to ask me to come and see him in his 
private room. I found him unrobing, and walking up 
and down like a lion in its cao;e. He said : 


" I sent for you to tell you that you did that case 
remarkably well. But it was no good ; the facts were 
too strong. I prosecuted Rush for the murder of Mr. 
Jermy, I defended Daniel Good, and I defended several 
other notable criminals when I was on the Norfolk 
Circuit ; but, if it will be of any satisfaction to you, I 
may tell you that in my opinion you have to-day 

defended the greatest criminal that ever lived." 

Many anecdotes are related of this most excellent 
Judge. He was once hearing a case in which a woman 
was charged with causing the death of her child by not 
giving it proper food or treating it with the necessary 

care. Mr. F , of the Western Circuit, conducted the 

defence, and while addressing the jury said : 

" Gentlemen, it appears to be impossible that the 
prisoner can have committed this crime. A mother 
guilty of such conduct to her own child ! Why, it is 
repugnant to our better feelings ; " and then, being 
carried away by his own eloquence, he proceeded : 
" Gentlemen, the beasts of the field, the birds of the air 
suckle their young, and -" 


But at this point the learned Judge interrupted him, 
and said : 

"Mr. F , if you establish the latter part of 

your proposition, your client will be acquitted to a 

On another occasion, while Mr. Justice Byles was 
summing-up at the Central Criminal Court, my learned 
friend, Arthur Collins, interposing, said : 

" My lord, you have missed so-and-so " (mentioning 
some fact that the Judge had not put to the jury). 

" Have I, Mr. Collins ? " said his lordship, with a 
peculiar twinkle in his eye. " Well, I will put it if 
you like, but remember, it is a two-edged sword. Shall 
I put it, Mr. Collins ? " 

" Oh, no, thank you, my lord," said Collins, hur- 
riedly, as he promptly resumed his seat. 

The next case of importance in which I figured 
occurred in the same year. It was characterised by some- 
what peculiar circumstances. I belonged to a Dining 
Club, the members of which used to meet at 5.30 p.m. 
every Saturday at the Cafe de 1'Europe. It was 
called the " Caffres," and among the members were 
Keeley, Buckstone, Albert Smith, Benjamin Webster, 
and Mark Lemon. The " Caffre " chief was a gentle- 
man named Watkins, the principal partner in the firm 
of Morden and Co. A Mr. Wild was the proprietor 
of the cafe, his predecessor having been a person 

named H s, who had failed. When the crash came, 

his two daughters the eldest of whom, Floretta, was 

G 2 


about nineteen, and her sister some twelve months 
younger had, with a view to gain their own liveli- 
hood, gone upon the stage. Floretta had been playing 
somewhere in the North, and during her engagement 
had been seduced by the manager of the theatre, who 
was a married man. Abandoned and left destitute, 
she had come up to London and taken refuge in a 
garret in Soho, where the child was born. Its dead 
body was subsequently found under somewhat peculiar 
circumstances, and the unfortunate woman was arrested, 
and charged with the murder. The matter got into 
the newspapers, and was discussed by us at one of 
the club dinners. We had all known the girl, and 
had always found her most quiet, well-behaved, and 
lady-like. We were very sorry that this trouble had 
fallen upon her, and, with a view to have her properly 
defended, we started a subscription list on her behalf, 
and raised a considerable sum of money. Watkins 
asked me to mention the name of a good criminal 
lawyer with whom to entrust the girl's defence. I 
referred him to Mr. James Lewis, for it was my honest 
opinion that he would be the best man for the work ; 
and this, I may mention in passing, was practically my 
first introduction to the firm. 

Watkins went to Ely Place, saw Mr. Lewis, and 
suggested that I should conduct the defence. The 
reply was: "You will really be doing him a bad 
turn by putting the matter in his hands. You see, 
he has noc long been at the Bar, and this is a case 


that requires a good deal of experience and very 
delicate handling. If, as you seem to suggest, there 
is no absolute lack of means, I should advise you 
to have Serjeant Ballantine. I will see Mr. Montagu 
Williams and explain the matter to him, and I am 
quite sure that, when I do so, he will see it in the 
same light as I do. He shall be junior." 

Mr. Lewis saw me, as arranged, and as I eagerly 
agreed to some one else bearing the burden of this 
exceedingly painful case, the Serjeant was duly 
instructed. He put in an appearance at the trial, 
but, as my luck would have it, in the middle of 
the case he was called away to AVestminster, there 
to argue some most important matter which he could 
not possibly neglect. 

I need hardly say that, when I came to address 
the jury, everything was in my favour a weeping 
woman, barely twenty years of age, in the dock ; 
the terrible story of her seduction ; the agony, 
physical and mental, she must have endured in her 
time of travail, with no living soul by to assist and 
comfort her. This, as will readily be understood, was 
material that was not very difficult to handle. Of course 
the principal part of my defence was an attack upon 
the man who had so wronged her, and I remember that 
in concluding my speech I quoted the following lines : 

Heaven ! that such companions thou'dst unfold, 

And put in every honest hand a whip 

To lash the rascals naked through the world. 


My client was acquitted, and from that moment I 
think my fortune was fairly safe. This was my first 
real introduction to Serjeant Ballantine, and during the 
remainder of his career at the Bar, whenever he had a 
criminal case of importance, I was nearly always his junior. 

The Serjeant was a very extraordinary man. He 
was the best cross-examiner of his kind that I have 
ever heard, and the quickest at swallowing facts. It 
was not necessary for him to read his brief ; he had 
a marvellous faculty for picking up a case as it went 
along, or learning all the essentials in a hurried colloquy 
with his junior. There is no point that the Serjeant 
might not have attained in his profession, had he only 
possessed more ballast. He was, however, utterly 
reckless, generous to a fault, and heedless of the future. 
His opinion of men could never be relied upon, for he 
praised or blamed them from day to day, just as they 
happened to please or annoy him. He often said bitter 
things, but never, I think, ill-naturedly. His fault 
was probably that he did not give himself time to 
think before he spoke. 

Ballantine's manner of addressing a jury was some- 
what drawling and hesitating. Nevertheless it was a 
manner that possessed a considerable charm, and he had 
a way of introducing jokes and anecdotes into his speech 
that was very effective. He was a great verdict-getter, 
sometimes being successful in the most desperate cases. 
He never funked what we lawyers call a " dead " case, 
and was always cheery and bright. 


Between the Sessions, when there was no Police 
Court work to do, I used to go down to Westminster, 
where I managed to get a little civil business. One 
clay, shortly after the trial of Floretta H- -s, I was in 
the Court of Queen's Bench, which was sitting in banco, 
and presided over by Lord Chief Justice Cockburn, 
assisted by Mr. Justice Wightman' and Mr. Justice 
Crompton. Serjeant Ballan tine's clerk, Worster (who 
had held the appointment Heaven knows how many 
years), came up and asked me whether, as his chief was 
absent, I would watch a case that was about to be 
argued. He explained that, as the Serjeant's junior, 
J. 0. Griffiths, was in the building, and would shortly 
put in an appearance, all that it would be necessary 
for me to do would be to take a note of what was going 
on. As a matter of fact, I had never argued a case in 
the Civil Court in banco in my life, though, of course, 
this was no reason why I should not make myself useful 
in the manner suggested. To my horror, however, 
several other cases having broken down, ours was called 
on prematurely, and a considerable time before Mr. 
Griffiths was likely to arrive. The other side had to 
begin, and Serjeant Parry, who was opposed to us, 
got up to open his speech. I rose, too, anc!, addressing 
the Bench, said : " My lords, I hope you won't take 
this case yet. Serjeant Ballantine is on this side, and 
Mr. J. 0. Griffiths. Neither of them is here, and 
I know nothing of the case, as I was not in it at the 
trial. I only came here to take a note." 


Good-natured Justice Wightman (he was, indeed, 
one of the pleasantest and most kind-hearted men that 
ever lived), looking at me indulgently, said : " Oh, you 
only came here to take a note, did you ? ' Then he 
turned to Cockburn, and I overheard him say : " He's 
very young, and I don't think we ought to press him ; " 
whereupon the case was adjourned, and I was released 
from my most embarrassing position. 

On one occasion, in an action for false imprisonment, 
heard before Mr. Justice Wightman, Eibton was ad- 
dressing the jury at great length, repeating himself 
constantly, and never giving the slightest sign of 
winding up. When he had been pounding away for 
several hours, the good old Judge interposed, and said : 
"Mr. Ribton, you've said that before." "Have I, my 
lord?" said Eibton ; " I'm very sorry. I quite forgot it." 
"Don't apologise, Mr. Ribton," was the answer. "I 
forgive you ; for it was a very long time ago." 

I remember a civil action, brought upon a bill of 
exchange, in which I was Serjeant Ballan tine's junior. 
We appeared for the defence, and were instructed by a 
little Jewish solicitor named K -h. The consultation 
took place at No. 1, Paper Buildings, and at its con- 
clusion the solicitor withdrew to arrange pecuniary 
matters with Worster in an adjoining room. I stood, 
somewhat depressed, by the window, looking out into 
the Temple Gardens. " You seem rather out of sorts," 
said the Serjeant, "what's the matter?" "Well," said 
I, " I was thinking what I should do if you don't turn 


up at this trial to-morrow. I suppose you know it's to 
be in the paper. It's the most fraudulent case I believe 
you were ever in in your life, and Fin quite sure of one 
thing, if I'm left to do it, I shan't escape with my wig 
and gown. I suppose you've a lot of special juries, and 
you won't attend to this. It's of no use your handing 
over your brief to somebody else. If anybody else 
undertakes it he is sure to repent and withdraw the 
instant he has read the brief, and I should then be left 
entirely alone. Sooner than this should be, I'd rather 
almost return the brief and the fee." "Don't dream 
of that," said the Serjeant, "never return anything 
at the Bar I never do ; and as for your not being- 
able to do it, rubbish ! you can do it right enough if 
I'm not there. But don't worry yourself, I'm not very 
busy to-morrow, and I promise you you shan't be called 

The next morning arrived, and the case, which was 
about the third on the list, was to come on in the 
Little Queen's Bench, a small Court at the end of the 
Guildhall, somewhat resembling a cucumber frame. 
The Judge was Mr. Justice Crompton, familiarly known 
as Charlie. The learned Serjeant was busily engaged in 
the large Court opposite, presided over by Chief Baron 
Pollock. I sent for Worster, who informed me that my 
leader was just finishing his address to the jury, that he 
would be with me in a little while, and that in the 
meantime I was to go on. The pleadings having been 
opened, Huddleston, who was for the plaintiff, began 


his speech, the Jewish solicitor, sitting in the well of 
the Court, looking wistfully at the door for the arrival 
of my chief. At length the Serjeant rushed in his wig 
on the back of his head, and his silk gown well down 
over his shoulders and took his seat in the front row. 
Our opponent was, at this moment, characterising our 
case as the very reverse of honest, alleging fraud and 
every other enormity, and impressing upon the common 
jury (and a very common jury it was) that our client, 
if he made his appearance in any Court, certainly should 
not make that appearance in a civil one. The Serjeant 
was never in better form, and, during his speech, fired 
off a number of small jokes, much to the delight of the 
jury. I have noticed, indeed, that juries, in a Court of 
law, as also the ushers, are always convulsed with 
laughter on the smallest possible provocation. We 
were, in a word, getting on swimmingly with everybody 
but the Judge, who, ignoring the Serjeant's fun, was 
jotting down in his book some shorthand notes of what 
he intended to say in his summing-up. At length the 
evidence and speeches came to an end, and his lordship 
addressed the jury. He demolished us in a very few 
sentences, and concluded by painting our client in even 
blacker colours than had been employed by the counsel 
for the plaintiff. AVhen he concluded his address it did 
not really seem that the jury had much to consider; 
but, to the astonishment of everybody, the foreman 
asked leave for them to retire. As the usher was 
swearing them in, the little Jewish solicitor, with a face 


beaming with smiles, and with his eyes turned towards 
the jury-box, said : 

" Serjeant, upon my soul I think we shall get a 

To which the reply was : 

" How, sir, do you think that I, or anybody else, 
can get a verdict if you flash your infernal Israelitish 
countenance before the jury in that way?" Not in the 
least abashed or offended, the little man roared with 
laughter and exclaimed : 


"Capital, Serjeant, capital! You must have your 
little joke." 

On another occasion Ballantine was acting in a case 
with the same solicitor, and it happened that one of the 
hostile witnesses also belonged to the Jewish race. 

Just as the Serjeant was about to examine him, K h 

whispered in his ear : 

"Ask him, as your first question, if he isn't a Jew." 

" AYhy, but you're a Jew yourself," said Ballantine, 
in some surprise. 

"Never mind, never mind," replied the little 
solicitor, eagerly. "Please do just to prejudice the 



Serjeant Ballantine'a weekly custom A case of fraud What 
Ballantine said to the parson Jews like the Serjeant ; but the 
Serjeant doesn't like Jews A remarkable piece of cross-exami- 
nation " I am his cussed old father " Ballantine's conduct 
towards Clarkson Sparring between the Serjeant and Huddleston. 

Miss Lydia Thompson's action against Miss Marie Wilton 
The comment of a rising young barrister I desire to join the 
Oxford Circuit My father's peculiar objections I join the 
Home Circuit The giants of those daysMy first Circuit town 

Serjeant Shee's kindness Mr. Kussell Gurney, Sir Thomas 
Chambers, and Mr. Commissioner Kerr An instance of great 

AT the Central Criminal Court one Monday, the 
Eecorder took two cases in which Ballantine and I 
appeared he as leader, and I as junior and which 
had been held over from the previous session. It 
was the Serjeant's custom, during the summer, to 
stay over the Sunday at the " Star and Garter," at 
Richmond, coming up to town by an early train on 
Monday morning. On this particular morning, he 
did not arrive in Court until the cases were about 
to come on. Turning to me, he said : 


" For goodness' sake, my dear Montagu, while the 
jury is being got together and the pleas are taken, 
tell me something of these infernal cases. I haven't 
the remotest idea what they are about. I read my 
briefs last session ; but in the interval, what with one 
thing and another, I have entirely forgotten all about 

One of the two cases was a charge of fraud against 
the manager of a Northern bank. It had been removed 
from Leeds to the Central Criminal Court, under an 
Act of Parliament known as Palmer's Act Palmer 
being the name of a man who was charged with 
murder, and whose trial was removed from Stafford 
to London. The case had created a considerable 
interest in the locality where the accused resided, 
and the Court was densely crowded, principally by 
gentlemen who had travelled up to town to give 
the prisoner a good character, among the number 
being (to judge by their dress) several High Church 
clergymen. While I was busily engaged cramming 
the Serjeant with the facts of the case, he gave me 
his undivided attention, completely ignoring every- 
thing that was going on around him. As I was 
pouring information as rapidly as I could into his 
ear, two gentlemen wearing the white ties, queerly- 
cut waistcoats, and long frock-coats peculiar to the 
clergy, came up and touched him on the arm. 

" Go on," said he to me, taking no other notice 
of the interruption. 


In a minute or two they pulled at his silk gown ; 
but still he paid no heed to their presence. A little 
later they having, it must be admitted, shown con- 
siderable patience one of them remarked : 

" I beg your pardon. Have I not the honour 
of addressing Serjeant Ballantine ? " 

The answer was : " Yes ; but can't you see that 
I am busily engaged and cannot possibly attend to 
you ? " and he turned to me with an impetuous gesture, 
and told me to proceed. 

After waiting in silence for several minutes, with 
truly Christian resignation, the two gentlemen mildly 
returned to the attack. 

" We won't detain you a minute, Serjeant," said 
the spokesman ; " we only want to ask one question." 

" Well, sir," said Ballantine, impatiently, " and 
what is it ? >: 

" We only wanted to know," the clergyman ex- 
plained, " whether they are going to put our dear 

friend, Mr. " (mentioning the name of the 

prisoner), "into that dreadful dock?" 

" Why not?" was the Serjeant's retort. " I can tell you 
it'll take me a d lot of trouble to get him out of it." 

I shall never forget the horror that was depicted 
upon the faces of the clergymen, as, with an expressive 
"Oh!" they shrank back into the crowd. 

As may be gathered from certain anecdotes 
told in the last chapter, the Serjeant had any- 
thing but a proclivity for men of Eastern origin. 


Nevertheless they were very fond of him, and eagerly 
sought his services. I was his junior in a rather 
remarkable case in which some Hebrews figured 
conspicuously. In the course of the trial a very im- 
portant witness entered the box, and was duly sworn 
on the Old Testament with his hat on. A good deal 
depended on this witness, for unless we could shake 
his credit, it was likely to go hard with the prisoner. 
The Serjeant cross-examined him, but with little result, 
and at last, giving the matter up as a bad job, he 
was about to resume his seat. It happened that 
Ballantine had taken up his position at the extreme 
end of the counsel's bench, close to the gangway, and 
by his side stood a man whose prominent nasal organ 
was an eloquent testimony to his origin. As soon as 
this individual perceived that my leader was about to 
close his cross-examination, he whispered eagerly: 
" You are not properly instructed. You don't know 
the man; I know all about him. Ask him, Serjeant 
ask him if he ever had a' fire." 

Quick as lightning Ballantine took the hint. 
Addressing the witness, he said: "I think that on one 
occasion you were unfortunate enough to have a fire ? " 

"Yes," said the witness. 

(" That's right," said my leader's prompter. " Claim 
against insurance arson Borough Koad.") 

" I think you lived in the Borough Road ? " said 
the Serjeant. 

" Yes," was the reply. 


" Insured ? " 

:c Company were wicked enough to dispute your 
claim ? " 

" Yes." 

" And to insist that the fire was not quite the 
result of accident ? " 


" Well, to put the matter plainly, you were tried 
for arson ? " 


" Convicted ? " 


"Penal servitude ? ' ; 


With a smile of triumph, and a look at the jury, 
Ballantine was again about to resume his seat. 

(" Not at all not half," whispered the prompter. 
" Watch robbery Bow Street.") 

" Do you know Bow Street 1 " drawled the Serjeant, 
ao-ain addressing the unfortunate witness. 

O C5 

" Of course I do ; of course I know Bow Street," 
answered the man, assuming somewhat of a less sheepish 

" I mean Bow Street Police Court," said Ballantine ; 
" ever been there ? ' 

"Yes," was the reply. 

" Another unfortunate circumstance in your some- 
what varied life watch robbery ? ' : 


" Yes." 

" Unfortunate again ? ' 

" I don't understand what you mean." 

" Yes you do convicted ? ' 


Again the Serjeant was about to sit down, but 
the man at his elbow said : 

" Stay a minute, sir, stay a minute. Fraudulent 

Ballantine, who thought he had extracted about 
enough from the witness, replied : 

" Oh, that's a mere trifle." 

"Never mind; ask him, Serjeant, ask him," was 
the retort. 

The Serjeant then put the necessary question. The 
witness, becoming on a sudden virtuously indignant, 
replied : 

" Never ! upon my oath never, I swear it ! " 

Ballantine, turning round to his prompter, said : 

""What do you mean, sir, by giving me false 
information ? ' 

"It's true, Serjeant, it's true," the man responded, 
eagerly. " I swear it, and / ought to know. I'm 
his cussed old father." 

One day Ballantine told me that when he first 
began to practise at the Central Criminal Court, there 
was a good deal of competition among the counsel 
there. Bodkin, Alley, Phillips, and Clarkson were 
among the principal men there at the time. "The 

VOL. I. H 


man I feared most," said Ballantine, " and, in fact, 
the man most in my line, was Clarksou, and it soon 
became apparent that either he or I must go to the 
wall. I infinitely preferred that it should be he, and 
so I devoted my whole life to worrying him. I drove 
him first to sedative pills, and finally to carbuncles 
and he died/' 

It happened on one occasion that the Serjeant was 
discussing, with three or four other men, the character 
of a certain leader, the remarks made beino; not all 

7 O 

of a complimentary nature. Somebody, interposing, 
said : 

" Well, there's one thing, my dear Ballantine, that 
there's no denying he never speaks ill of any man." 

" No ; of course not," w r as the Serjeant's rejoinder ; 
" for he never talks of any one but himself." 

In his early career, Ballantine was a great friend of 
Mr. (now Baron) Hudclleston ; but as time went on, 
and the two became, to a certain degree, professional 
rivals, the intimacy somewhat cooled. At the time 
when they were both in large leading business, a rather 
lively encounter took place between them in a case at 
Westminster Hall, in which they appeared as opposing 
counsel. Huddleston, in the course of his remarks, said : 

" My learned friend, Serjeant Ballantine, while he 
was making his speech, reminded me of the ostrich who 
buried his beak in the sand and imagined that nobody 
could see his tail." 

When it came to Ballantine's turn to reply, he, after 


commenting upon the merits of the case, referred to the 
remarks of his adversary, saying : 

"My learned friend, Mr. Huddleston, has been 
busying himself a good deal about me, and I can't help 
thinking that in doing so he has wasted both time and 
abuse. I feel very like the bargee, who, when asked 
why he allowed his wife to thrash him, replied : ' It 
pleases she, and it don't hurt me.' My learned friend, 
however, on the present occasion has gone farther. He 
has lectured me and endeavoured to teach me what my 
conduct ought to be in the future. AVell, I'm very 
much obliged to him. He has also indulged in similes. 

o o 

He compares me to the ostrich who hides his beak in 
the sand and imagines that nobody can see his tail. It 
does not surprise me in the least that he should make 
use of that simile. I should say that he, above all men, 
ought to understand it, as the part he alludes to, if it 
were in the human frame, is the part that is most 
likely to catch the schoolmaster's eye." 

In earlv life, Huddleston had been a tutor. 


The Serjeant was a very great favourite with 
members of the theatrical profession, and, when he was 
in the zenith of his fame, there was scarcely ever a 
theatrical case heard without his being engaged on one 
side or the other. 

There was an action brought by Miss Lydia Thomp- 
son against Miss Marie Wilton (now Mrs. Bancroft), 
for breach of engagement. It was before a special 
jury, and the case was tried by Sir "William Bovill, 

H 2 


then Chief Justice of the Common Pleas. Huddleston 
and I were counsel for Miss Thompson, while Ballan- 
tine and Lumley Smith represented Marie Wilton. 
The Court was crowded. 

Miss Thompson told her story, and it was then 
suggested, the plaintiff and the defendant having been 
intimate friends, that a compromise should be come 
to. To this end, Huddleston and Ballantine accord- 
ingly put their heads together, and in a little while 
they had agreed upon the terms of a settlement. 
Neither of the parties to the case had been consulted, 
however, and when Ballantine brought the matter under 
the notice of Miss Wilton, that lady exclaimed : 

" Not at all ; I won't compromise the matter. She " 
(alluding to Miss Thompson) " has had the best of it 
at present. She has been examined, and has told her 
story ; but I've not played my part yet, and I insist 
upon doing so, and being called as a witness." 

The trial proceeded, and a better witness than 
Miss Wilton I never heard. In the end, the verdict 
went against us. Upon one or two counsel expressing 
their surprise at the result, a rising young junior, who 
had been casting something very like sheep's-eyes at 
the defendant, observed : 

" Not at all ; it's not in the least surprising. It 
has been beauty versus brains, and the result is natural." 

After I had been practising for a year or two, it 
became necessary for me to choose a circuit. I wrote 
a letter to my father stating that, if he had no objec- 


tion, I should like to join his, the Oxford Circuit. My 
father had very extraordinary notions, and was no 
nepotist. He wrote back to say that such position 
as he had attained in his profession he had attained 
by his own merits, and he requested me to follow his 
example. He very much disapproved, he said, of a 
son; on to the skirts of his father's crown ; and 

o o o 

he strongly recommended me to turn my attention 

I joined the Home, now known as the South- 
Eastern Circuit, intending to change to the Oxford as 
soon as my father ceased to practise. There were 
giants in those days upon the Home Circuit, among 
the number being Bovill, Lush, Ballantine, Parry, 
Hawkins, Montagu Chambers, and last, but not least, 
Serjeant Shee. I am not a laudator temporis acti, 
but where could such men now be found ? and Echo 
answers, " Where ? " 

I was most fortunate on my first circuit, that is 
to say, at my first circuit town, Ghiildford. I had 
two briefs, both on the civil side. One was in a 
theatrical action, brought against Captain Horton 
Rhys, an amateur actor, playing under the name of 
Morton Price, and a man of considerable fortune. I 
think the cause of action was breach of engagement ; 
but I remember that I was instructed by my old friend 
Mr. Hale, now a partner in the firm of Jones, Vallings, 
and Hale, and I also remember that my leader was 
Serjeant Shee. The other case had reference to the 


right of putting certain boats on certain waters in 
the neighbourhood of Gluildford, and my client was 
an old Etonian, whose name I have had occasion more 
than once to mention Mr. Voules, of Windsor. He 
determined to have for his case an "Eton team," as 
he called it, and his counsel were Mr. (now Sir Richard) 
Gath, late Chief Justice of India, and myself. I shall 
never forget my consultation with dear old Serjeant 
Shee. I knew very little about pleadings, and matters 
of that kind, and so the work naturally made me 
feel somewhat nervous. On going upstairs to the 
consulting room to see Serjeant Shee, whom I already 
knew slightly, I had my briefs stuck under my arm, 
somewhat ostentatiously I am afraid. The old Serjeant 
patted me on the shoulder and said : 

" Lots of briefs flowing in, my boy ; delighted 
to see it." 

When we had taken our seats, and the consultation 
had begun, he said, turning to the solicitor who 
instructed us : 

"Winning case pleadings all wrong. That young 
dog over there smelt it out long ago, as a terrier would 
a, rat, I can see eh, Montagu Williams ? You've 
found it out, I can see it by your face." 

Heaven knows I was as innocent of finding any- 
thing out as the man in the moon. I sniggered feebly ;, 
and then the Serjeant proceeded to put into my mouth 
the vital blots in the case of our adversary, which he 
alone had discovered. 


That was the way leaders treated their juniors 
then. I must leave my successors at the Bar to decide 
whether or not things are the same now. 

I have already mentioned that the principal Judge 
at the Central Criminal Court was the Recorder, Mr. 
Russell Gurney, whose successor was the Common 
Serjeant, Sir Thomas Chambers. The third City Judge 
was Mr. Commissioner Kerr. I have referred to the 
eminent qualities of Mr. Russell Gurney, and I may 
here give an example of his intense fairness. One day 
I appeared before him to defend a burglar, against 
whom there were three indictments. Poland prosecuted, 
and there were several previous convictions on the 
prisoner's record, though these could not, of course, 
be put in evidence against him until after conviction. 
It is, indeed, an illustration of the extreme fairness of 
the English law, that, when a man is being tried, only 
evidence bearing upon the particular charge is admitted, 
no testimony as to his character being brought before 
the jury, unless the issue is expressly raised by himself, 
or his counsel. The Recorder, at the trial to which 
I am referring, summed up on the merits of the case 
with strict fairness, though the sheet of convictions 
against the prisoner was lying on the desk in front 
of his lordship ; and the jury, after some consideration, 
brought in a verdict of "Not Guilty." The Re- 
corder at once made the following remark to the 
prisoner : 

" You are a very fortunate man. I know all about 


you you have been convicted for burglary four times 

" My lord," I exclaimed, as soon as I could make 
myself heard, "you forget there are two other indict- 
ments against the prisoner ! You have acquainted the 
jury with his antecedents. How can he be fairly tried 
now ? " 

The Recorder was horrified, and exclaimed : 
" Good gracious ! What have I done ? I had quite 
forgotten the other indictments." 


"Well, my lord," I said, "it isn't fair to try the 
prisoner on them now." 

"You are quite right," was the reply. "The only 
thing I can suggest is that the trial should be post- 
poned until the next Session." 

"But, my lord," said I, "the jurymen in waiting 
have heard all this. Then there are the newspapers ; 
how are we to keep the matter out of them ? In 
these days of penny papers, who is without his 
Telegraph or Standard? It's impossible, in my judg- 
ment, that the prisoner can now have a fair trial." 

" I quite agree with you," the Eecorder replied ; 
" I see it all now." Then, turning to Poland, he added : 
" Mr. Poland, it has been all my fault ; but I don't 
think you ought to go on with the other charges ; " 
and, in the end, a verdict of acquittal was taken upon 
all three indictments. 

The Common Serjeant, commonly known as Tom 
Chambers, is also, as Recorder, an excellent criminal 


Judge. His quiet, coaxing way has a wonderful effect 
upon juries, and he can generally control their verdicts. 
In the latter years of my professional career, that is 
to say, in its most laborious stage (and laborious it 
was indeed), what should I have done without the 
present Eecorder ? He is the kindest of friends to 
all who practise before him. To those whose good 
fortune makes them stagger daily under the pressure 
of work, he is always considerate and obliging. I don't 
know for the moment how many years he has been 
on the City Bench, but he is to-day as good a Judge 
as ever he was, and I am sure that it is the wish of 
all who have ever practised before him, that he may 
live long to enjoy the position he so worthily occupies. 
Of the third Judge, Mr. Commissioner Kerr, I have 
little to say. He is a very sharp Scotchman, cultured, 
astute, and a good lawyer ; but he is far too eccentric 
for any criticism of mine. He never had much 
practice at the Bar ; though he edited, with considerable 
success, one or two of the principal law text-books. 
Upon one occasion a barrister asked Hawkins whether 
it was true that the Lord Chancellor was about to make 
Mr. Commissioner Kerr a Serjeant. " Impossible ! " 
was the reply. " What Judge could call him ' brother 
Kerr ' ? " 

The officers of the Court were Mr. Avory (the father 
of the successful young barrister, Horace Avory), Reed, 
Henry Avory, and the young Keeds. Mr. Avory's 
assistant was one who is a great friend of mine 

106 MR. AVOEY. 

Douglas Straight, the son of Marshall Straight, Avory's 
predecessor. Avory himself knew more criminal law 
than all the Bench of Judges put together. It was most 
amusing to see him when one of the Judges who 
came down to the Old Bailey was going a little astray 
in his knowledge of the law. The good-natured face 
of the Clerk of Arraigns might be seen nervously 
twitching, as, taking a huge pinch of snuff, he jumped 
up, statute in hand, and put his lordship right. He 
was a thoroughly courteous gentleman, and one of 
my best friends. I may add that, in my opinion, 
the staff of legal officers attached to the Central 
Criminal Court in those days was not to be matched 
in any other Court in the kingdom. 



The Hatton Garden murder Pelizzioni charged Avith the crime 
Evidence of the landlord of the " Golden Anchor " Statement 
of the dying man Witnesses for the defence Accusations 
against Gregorio The question of the knife The prisoner 
sentenced to death Excitement among the Italians A respite 
obtained Interposition of Mr. Negretti Gregorio traced He 
is tried for the crime Fresh evidence Pelizzioni put into the 
box Mr. Negretti's evidence Gregorio found guilty of man- 
slaughter An unprecedented state of things Pelizzioni tried 
again on a second indictment He is acquitted and pardoned 
Which one was guilty 1 

Ix the month of February, 1865, I was engaged in 
what I regard as one of the most remarkable cases 
in rny career. This was the Hatton Garden murder, 
in connection with which there were three trials. The 
first of these came before Baron Martin at the Central 
Criminal Court, in the mayoralty of Mr. WarreD 

Seraphmi Polioni, or Pelizzioni, as he was more 
commonly called, was indicted for the wilful murder 
of Michael Harrington. There was a second indict- 


ment against him, on which he was charged with 
wounding, with intent to murder, Alfred Eebbeck. 
Messrs. Hardiuge-Giffard and Besley conducted the 
prosecution on behalf of the Treasury, and the prisoner 
was defended by Messrs. Ribton and F. H. Lewis, 
who were instructed by Messrs. Lewis and Lewis. There 
were no funds for a third counsel ; but Fred Lewis, 
who was an intimate friend of mine, asked me to 
assist him, and I did so. 

The murder was alleged to have taken place at 
the "Golden Anchor" public-house, Great Saffron Hill. 
The district was, and is, peopled very largely by 
Italians, nearly all the organ - grinders, penny - ice 
vendors, etc., of the metropolis residing there. The 
first witness for the prosecution was the landlord of 
the " Golden Anchor," Frederick Shaw, who deposed 
that on Monday evening, the 26th December, at about 
six o'clock, the prisoner came to his house in a very 
excited condition, and said : " I'll kill you, or any 
Englishman like you." There were several Italians in 
the tap-room at the time, the witness said, among 
the number being a man named Gregorio. The witness 
proceeded to say that a row took place in the tap- 
room, which he attempted to enter. , He was at first 
prevented from doing so, but he at length forced his 
way in. He then saw Michael Harrington being taken 
into the bar parlour, and he heard that the poor 
fellow had been stabbed. Eaising Harrington's shirt, 
he discovered a wound, and seeing that the man was 


in extremis, lie sent for a constable. Harrington was 

* o 

then taken to the hospital. 

The next witness was Rebbeck, the potman. He- 
said that he saw the prisoner leading the way to 
the tap-room, whereupon he said to him : "I don't 
want any row here." The prisoner then stabbed him 
in the ri^ht side. He saw the knife with which the 


wound was inflicted, but could not say what sort of a 
knife it was, or what sort of a blade it had. He had 
known the prisoner for four or five years. Pelizzioni 
ran at him a second time with the knife and struck 
him on the head. He then turned round and saw 
Pelizzioni on the top of Harrington. There was no 
other Italian at that time in the room. He rushed 
at the prisoner to pull him off Harrington, but became 
insensible before he could effect his object. 

A number of other witnesses were called. A man 
named Mellership said that he saw Harrington stabbed, 
that the blow was struck by the prisoner, and that no 
other Italian was present at the time. Other witnesses 
swore that, though several Italians had been previously 
present, the only one there when Harrington received 
his injury was the man who inflicted it Pelizzioni. 
Some of them further stated that they assisted to 
remove the prisoner from the prostrate body of 
Harrington. A policeman named Fawel was called, 
and deposed to going to the "Golden Anchor," and 
taking the prisoner into custody. He said he found 
Pelizzioni in a stooping position, held clown by a man 


named King. Fawel added that, when he arrested 
the prisoner, the deceased was lying in a corner of 
the room, and that the man he took into custody was 
the only Italian present. 

The principal police evidence was that of Thomas 
Ambrose Potter, an inspector of the G- division. He 
gave it as his testimony, inter alia, that he took the 
prisoner in a cab to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, where 
Harrington was under the care of Dr. Peerless. He 
led the prisoner to Harrington's bed, which was entirely 
surrounded by a number of persons. Taking hold of 
the dying man's hand, he said : " Do you understand 
what I am saying to you ? " The answer was, " Yes." 
Potter deposed that he then said : "In consequence 
of what the doctor tells me, I must inform you that 
you have but a short time to live." Harrington 
rejoined : " If I am to die, may the Lord have mercy 
upon me ; " saying which he seemed to go off into a 
doze. Potter said that, with some difficulty, and with 
the doctor's assistance, he succeeded in rousing the 
dying man, whom he requested to look round and see 
if any one he knew were present. Harrington looked 
round, and, pointing to the prisoner, said: "That is 
the man who did it. God bless him." Potter would 
not be positive, on being questioned, whether the 
words were " God bless him," or " God forgive him." 
Serjeant Baldock, Potter said, was standing by at 
the time, writing down what was said, he himself 
having to hold up Harrington's head. When the 


prisoner was shown what had been written clown, he 
said: " I do not understand English writing." Potter 
then remarked : " What Harrington has said is that 
you did it." The prisoner answered, "Oh!" and that 
was all he said. 

I must here pause to point out that, up to this 
stage, nothing had been said about the knife with 
which the deed was done. 

Potter was subjected to a very severe cross- 
examination by Mr. Ribton, but nothing of any 
material importance was elicited from him. The case 
for the Crown concluded with the evidence of Dr. 
Peerless, the house surgeon at St. Bartholomew's 
Hospital, who testified that the deceased was brought 
there on the night of the 26th of December, at 
about seven o'clock. There was, the witness said, an 
incised wound of about an inch and three-quarters 
in extent in the abdomen, and four other wounds 
on the body. A great deal of hemorrhage took place, 
and Harrington died about three o'clock on the follow- 
ing day. The witness said that the unfortunate man, 
when he made the statement to Potter, was perfectly 

A number of witnesses were called for the defence. 
Their evidence went principally to show that, at the 
time the deceased was struck, a regular melee was 
in progress, a number of Italians armed with knives 
being present. Gregorio was spoken of as havino- 
struck out indiscriminately with his knife. 


A witness named Angelinetta, and another named 
Mossi, were among those who deposed that Gregorio 
closely resembled the prisoner, and that, since the 
night in question, he had been missing. 

A man named Cetti swore that, after the occurrence, 
Gregorio came up to him with a knife in his hand, 
and that he subsequently threw it into the yard of 
the public-house. 

A boy of the name of Cowlands spoke to finding 
the knife in the urinal, picking it up, and handing- 
it to Inspector Potter. 

I will here again point out that Inspector Potter, 
in his evidence in chief, said nothing about the finding 
of the knife. 

After the boy's evidence, Potter was recalled. On 
being questioned about the knife, he produced one, and 
said : " This is what I received from the last witness." 

Cowlands, on being recalled, swore, however, that 
the knife produced was not the one he had found 
and handed to the Inspector. " It was," he said, 
using a rather remarkable expression, " much looser 
than this." 

A number of other Italians were called, though 
their evidence was not particularly satisfactory. 

At a late hour, and after an elaborate summing-up 
by the Judge, the jury retired. They reappeared 
in a comparatively short time, and returned a verdict 
of " Guilty," whereupon the Judge sentenced the 
prisoner to death. 


The verdict created a great sensation among the 
Italians resident in London. The Italian Ambassador, 
and Count MafTei, the Secretary to the Legation, had 
interviews with the Minister at the Home Office, on 
the subject of Pelizzioni's fate. The papers also took 
the matter up, especially The Daily Telegraph, in the 
columns of which it was argued at great length that, 
in view of the evidence of the Italians, it would be 
unsafe to take the man's life. It was stated that 
Gregorio could be traced, but that time was necessary 
for the purpose. This argument had its effect, and, 
just before the day appointed for Pelizzioni's execution, 
he was respited. 

Mr. Negretti, the senior partner in the firm of 
Negretti and Zambra, the opticians of Holborn Viaduct, 
was mainly instrumental in tracing Gregorio. He, 
indeed, strained every nerve to save his countryman's 

In a few days it was reported that Gregorio Mogni 
had been arrested at Birmingham. He had, it was 
stated, made certain confessions to an Italian priest 
there, in consequence of which Mr. Negretti had 
been communicated with, and had at once proceeded 
to the Midland metropolis with some officers from 
Bow Street. Gregorio was then arrested. 

It was stated that Gregorio had dealt the fatal 
blow, but that, as he did so in a general melee, his 
offence was not murder, but merely manslaughter. 

On Thursday, March 2nd, that is to say, exactly 

VOL. I. I 


one month and a day from the date of Pelizzioni's 
trial, Gregorio Mogni was placed in the dock on the 
charge of feloniously killing and slaying Michael 
Harrington. The case came before Mr. Justice Byles 
and a jury composed of six foreigners and six English- 
men. Mr. Serjeant Ballantine, Mr. F. H. Lewis, and 
Mr. Oppenhein conducted the prosecution. The 
prisoner had no counsel of his own, and refused to 
plead. A plea of " Not Guilty ' was entered for him, 
and, at the learned Judge's request, I consented to 
defend him. All the materials I had were a report 
of the Pelizzioni trial, which my clerk cut out of The 
Daily Telegraph, and a copy of the depositions taken 
before the magistrate at Bow Street. 

A good deal of the evidence given at the previous 
trial was gone over afresh. Mrs. Shaw, however, the 
landlady of the " Golden Anchor," who had not been 
called at the first trial, was now put into the box. 
She swore that her husband, who, it was admitted, 
had been struck by somebody before Harrington 
received the fatal blow, had been struck by Gregorio. 
She also swore that, as Harrington was entering the 
tap-room, she saw him seized by Gregorio. The latter 
raised his hand as if to strike his captive, who was, 
however, by some means or other taken away. She 
saw no more of Grregorio, and did not see Harrington 

o ' O 

stabbed. In conclusion, she said that she was present 
at the first trial, though she had not been called as. 
a witness. 


Giovanni Mogni was then called. He said that 
on the night in question his brother Gregorio was set 
upon by Harrington and a party of Englishmen, where- 
upon, appealing for help, he exclaimed : " Brother, 
they kill me ! " The prisoner, the witness said, then 
drew his knife and struck out right and left with it. 
Giovanni deposed that he saw Harrington in the 
room, though he could not say who stabbed him. 

Serjeant Ballantine produced a knife which the 
witness swore was that which had been used by his 
brother. On being cross-examined, he said that he left 
London after the occurrence because he was frightened. 


A man named Pietro Maraggi also spoke to seeing 
the prisoner with a knife in his hand. The witness said 
to him : " Gregorio, for God's sake put away that 
knife." Gregorio replied that if he did so they would 
not get out of that room alive. A quarter of an hour 
afterwards, when in Cross Street, the witness met the 
prisoner, who said: "My dear Maraggi, what have I 
done?' He replied: "You used a knife." The 
prisoner then said: "Yes, I stabbed three or four. 
Good-bye. I'm going home. Good night." 

A number of other witnesses were called, and 
among them Giovanni Schiena, who said that he lived 
in Birmingham, where he met the prisoner after the 
Pelizzioni trial. The prisoner told him that he had left 
London because he was in disgrace. He explained that 
he was in the row that took place at the " Golden 
Anchor," and that it was he who killed Harrington. 

I 2 


In cross-examination by me the witness altered his 
statement. He now said that the words used by the 
prisoner were : " I have been in a row, and I stabbed 
several, and one is dead. I do not know about the 
others whether they are well or not." The witness 
concluded his evidence by saying that he did not 
mention what had taken place until the following 

It was now that the great sensation of the 
trial occurred. Pelizzioni himself was called and 
examined by Mr. Serjeant Ballantine. I will give 
his statement practically verbatim. He said : 

" I am now in Newgate, under sentence of death. 
I understand English a little. I have been in this 
country about ten or eleven years. I know the 
' Golden Anchor ' public - house on Saffron Hill. I 
was there on the night of the 26th of December. I was 
not there when the row began. I was in a public- 
house we called Bordessa's. I was talking there with 
some Italians, and one of the Italians came and said 
that there was a row down at the ' Anchor ' along 
with the English and the Italians. Then he said : 
' Your two cousins are down there along with the row.' 
I then went down. I thought to make it quiet and see 
my two cousins, Gregorio and Giovanni, and take them 
away. Directly I went into the tap-room I heard a 
woman scream. She was the landlady of the house. 
When she saw me she called me by name. ' Seraphim/ 
she said, ' my God ! Don't let them make no row.' 


I said, ' No, Eliza. Tell your husband to keep the 
English people on one side. I shall try to take the 
Italians the other way.' I left her there in the tap- 
room in a small corner going through the bar, and 
I went into the bagatelle-room where I thought the row 
was. Directly I opened the door of the bagatelle room 
just enough to come in, I had a knock on my head, and 
it knocked me clown right on the floor. When half of 
my body was inside and half outside the door, some one 
caught hold of my arm and dragged me inside the 
bagatelle-room. Thus I was kept down there till a 
policeman came. When the policeman came, somebody 
said to him : ' I give you in charge of this man.' I 
said : ' Who gives me in charge ? ' There was a woman 
there, and she said : ' I will give you in charge, because 
you crave me a knock in mv mouth and knocked me 

JO / 

down with your fist.' I had no knife in my possession 
at that time. A small knife was taken from me with 
a white handle. It was taken from me at the Police 
Court from my right trouser pocket." Looking at a 
black knife produced by Serjeant Ballantine, he added, 
" This is not it." 

The witness was cross-examined by me, and I put 
the following question to him : " Do you know a police- 
constable of the name of Baldock ? ' : 

The answer was, " No ; " but upon Baldock being 
called into Court, the witness said : " I know that man 
by sight, but I don't know his name. When I was 
taken to the station-house," he continued, " I don't 


know whether I was charged with stabbing a man 
named Rebbeck. The woman said she would give me 
in charge for knocking her down by my fist. I don't 
know whether I was charged with stabbing Rebbeck I 
can't say. I know that something was said to me that 
night, but I couldn't hear anything because my head 
pained me so much. I know the constable read a paper 
to me, but I couldn't understand. He asked me if I 
understood English, and I said, ' a little/ He 
examined my hands, on which there was blood, and he 
asked me where it came from. I did not say to him, 
' I only protected myself.' I said I had the blood from 
my head. I said I put my hands up to feel rny head. 
I didn't make any further statements by the bedside of 
the dead man, as alleged by the police. I didn't under- 
stand what the dead man said." 

Mr. Negretti was the last witness called by the 
prosecution, and he stated that he was a partner in the 
firm of Negretti and Zambia, of Holborn ; that he was 
an Italian ; and that he had resided in this country for 
thirty -five years. He said that five or six days after 
the trial of Pelizzioni he received from Birmingham a 
paper that was sent by Giovanni Mogni. It arrived 
twenty minutes before the time at which the express 
train to Birmingham was due to start ; nevertheless he 
succeeded in catching that train. Arriving at Birming- 
ham, he sought out Gregorio and found him in a 
carpenter's workshop. The witness said that the first 
thing he did on seeing Gregorio was to put up his 


finger and say, " You rascal ! Is it possible you can't 
get into a fight without using a knife ! " Gregorio, the 
witness said, seemed rather staggered at this, and replied: 
"Mr. Negretti, you would have done the same if you 
had been in my place." The witness asked: "Do 
you know that your cousin is going to be hanged ? ' 
The answer was, "No." The witness then said : "Yes, 
he is ; " whereupon Gregorio exclaimed : " Is there no 
means to save him ? " The witness said : " Only by 
giving yourself up to justice." Gregorio reflected a 
little, seemed confused, and then said : " Mr. Negretti, 
I am ready." He at once took down his coat from 
a peg in the workshop, and added : " Mr. Negretti, 
my cousin shan't be hanged for me." The witness went 
on to say, that he and Gregorio afterwards proceeded to 
the station. On the way thither, the latter said: "I 
wish to tell you the whole truth. On the night of the 
murder, I had been drinking a good deal of rum. We 
Italians were all treating each other, till I was the worse 
for liquor. Then there was a fight between the English 
and Italians. I went to my brother Giovanni's as- 
sistance. The fight took place in the bagatelle-room 
and at the time, my cousin Pelizzioni was not there." 
The witness said that, when they were in the train, he 
asked Gregorio to go at once to Newgate, and tell his 
cousin that he had come to deliver himself up. 

In cross-examination by me, Mr. Negretti stated that 
he was supplying the means for conducting the present 
prosecution. He also stated that Gregorio had in his 


possession a passport, obtained from a fellow country- 

Having addressed the jury for the defence, I called 
all the English witnesses who had appeared in the first 
trial, their evidence being for the most part a repetition 
of that which they had previously given. Baldock 
stated the additional facts, however, that he took the 
knife with the white handle from Pelizzioni ; that the 
other knife -the one with the broken point, which 
had been identified as the property of Gregorio was 
given to him, and that he was not present when the 
latter was found. On being cross-examined by Serjeant 
Ballantine, he stated that he received the knife with the 
broken point from Constable Macmann (78 G), who 
was not present as a witness. He further stated that he 
found the knife with the white handle in Pelizzioui's 
pocket, and that the other knife was not produced or 
made evidence either at the Police Court, or at the 
previous trial. 

The jury retired to consider their verdict, and, on 
re-entering the box, found Gregorio guilty of man- 
slaughter. They, however, strongly recommended him 
to mercy, on account of the provocation he had received. 
Gregorio was then sentenced to five years' penal servi- 

Here, then, was a state of things absolutely without 
precedent. Pelizzioni was in the condemned cell at 
Newgate, under sentence of death for the murder of 
Michael Harrington ; Gregorio Mogni was in Millbank, 


about to undergo five years' penal servitude for the 
man slaughter of the same man. The Home Secretary, 
for the present, positively declined to release Pelizzioni. 
What, then, was to be done ? A solution of the enigma 
was at length found. There was still, on the files of 
the Court, the indictment against Pelizzioni for attempt- 
ing to kill and murder Rebbeck. As iustice was still 

O J 

unsatisfied on this indictment, it was resolved to try 
Pelizzioni afresh for the offence referred to. The matter 
was considered of such importance that two Judges came 
down to the Old Bailey to preside over the trial. 

On "Wednesday, April 12th, Thursday the 13th, and 
(Good Friday intervening) Saturday the 15th, Seraphini 
Pelizzioni was put upon his trial for feloniously wound- 
ing, with intent to murder, Alfred Eebbeck; the prisoner 
being, on a second count, further charged with the 
intent to do him grievous bodily harm. The Crown 
was represented by Mr. Hardinge-Giffard, Q.C. (he 
had just taken silk), and Mr. Besley, while Mr. Serjeant 
Ballantine, Mr. Ribton, and Mr. F. H. Lewis appeared 
for the prisoner. 

I do not propose to go at any length through the 
evidence. Again Rebbeck was called as a witness for 
the prosecution. He swore that the prisoner was the 
man who stabbed him, and he also deposed that when 
he was taken to the hospital, Mr. Hill, the surgeon, told 
him to speak the truth, as he was dying. He looked 
up, and, seeing the prisoner standing by his bedside, said : 
" That is the man that did it." He deposed that the 


prisoner held his head back, but made no reply. The 
witness said that he had been in the hospital about two 
months, and that he had known the prisoner before 
the occurrence at the " Golden Anchor." 

Rebbeck was severely cross-examined by Ballantine, 
but adhered to his statement that it was Pelizzioni who 
had struck him. 

A man named Bannister, who had also been stabbed 
upon the night in question, was now put into the 
witness-box. He swore, among other things, that 
he did not know who it was that stabbed him, and 
that Pelizzioni was the only Italian in the room, 
when Rebbeck and Harrington were wounded. 

Fawel, the policeman, was called, and gave evidence 
with reference to the knife. He said: "I think it 
was on the following night that I saw the knife given 
to Mr. Potter by the potman at Bordessa's, which 
is close to the ' Golden Anchor.' I was alongside 
Mr. Potter when I saw the knife. I don't know 
whether it is here now; I fancy" (looking at a knife 
that was handed to him) " that is the one. I believe 
Mr. Potter kept possession of the knife after he received 
it from the potman." 

John Macmann (78 G) was then called. He stated 
that he received the knife from a boy, who pointed 
out the spot on which he had found it. The witness 
added that he placed a stone to mark the spot indicated 
by the boy. He further stated that when he received 
the knife it had a quantity of blood upon it, the 


stains that remained not representing the whole of 
the amount. He deposed that he gave the knife to 
Serjeant Baldock, who handed it to Mr. Potter. 

The next witness was Inspector Potter, who adhered 
to his former statement as to what took place at 
Harrington's bedside. He said that he received the 
knife from one of the officers it might have been 
Baldock. When under cross-examination by the 
Serjeant and it was one of the best pieces of cross- 
examination I ever heard in my life he admitted 
that the knife was in Court, though not alluded to, 
during the first trial, and that subsequently, at the 
Police Court, he heard for the first time that it 
belonged to Gregorio. 

It was during this cross-examination that a rather 
funny incident occurred. Ballantine had been bearing- 
somewhat heavily upon the witness as to his ex- 
perience, as to the non-production of the knife, and 
so forth and one of the questions he asked was : 
"Mr. Potter, when were you made Inspector?' 1 

Instantly the policeman replied : " On the same 
day, sir, that you were made Serjeant." 

In the end, after a most exhaustive trial, Pelizzioni 
was acquitted on this indictment. A few days after- 
wards he received Her Majesty's most gracious pardon 
for the murder of Michael Harrington, and was released. 

I have given somewhat copious details of these 
three trials for this reason : the case was perhaps 
the most remarkable one that I ever took part in. 


I have never been able to make up my mind as to 
the truth of the matter. Did Gregorio sacrifice himself 
for his cousin and friend ? Of course it is obvious 
that in the one case there was the certainty that life 
would be sacrificed, whereas, in the other, all that 
could take place would be that the liberty of the 
subject would be temporarily suspended. Certainly, 
according to the testimony of Mr. Negretti, like Nisus 
of old, Gregorio practically exclaimed : " Me me adsum 
cjui feci in me convertite ferrura." 



A case of sheep-stealing The alibi I set up It is pooh-poohed from 
the Bench A verdict of " Guilty " -What took place twelve 
months later " You condemned an innocent man " The 
Drovers' Association take the matter up Her Majesty's 
" pardon " The prison doors release a maniac Anticipatory 
mourning : Hawkins' little joke " A fly-blow in the ocean." 

IT was about this time that I figured in another trial of 
a remarkable character. A man, whose name for the 
moment I forget, was charged at the Middlesex Sessions, 
before Sir William Bodkin, with sheep-stealing. Mr. 
Metcalfe prosecuted, and I defended. 

The evidence against the prisoner depended entirely 
upon the question of identity. Two policemen declared 
that one morning, just as daylight was breaking, they 
met the prisoner, in the neighbourhood of Hornsey, 
driving a flock of sheep in the direction of the Cattle 
Market. The prisoner, it was alleged, stopped one of the 
constables, and asked for a light for his pipe, which was 
given him. Both witnesses positively swore that the 
prisoner was the man. They had, in fact, picked him 


out at the station, from a number of other persons ; and 
there was no shaking their evidence. 

A publican from the Meat Market was also called, 
and he swore that the prisoner was the man who drove 
the sheep into his yard to be slaughtered. The butcher 
who bought the carcases was also called, and he declared 
on oath that the prisoner was the man who sold them 
to him. 

The accused strongly protested his innocence. My 
instructions were to call witnesses who would prove a 
conclusive alibi. These witnesses were the prisoner's 
father, mother, and sisters. He was a married man ; but, 
of course, it was not competent for him to call his wife 
as a witness on his behalf. The law which prohibits 
this course of action will probably soon be altered, and., 
in my humble opinion, the sooner the better. 

The family all lived together in three little rooms. 
A plan of the house was produced a rough plan, such 
as alone would be within the means of a poor man 
and from this plan it appeared that the sisters occupied 
a room approached from the passage, and that the 
prisoner and his wife occupied a room that had only 
one door, which opened into the third room the one 
occupied by the father and mother. As I have said, 
the various members of the prisoner's family, except 
his wife, were put into the box. They all swore that 
at about eleven o'clock p.m., the prisoner and his- 
wife retired to bed, that the former got up between 
six and seven on the following morninsf. and that he 


had not stirred from his room in the interval. Had 
he done so, it was pointed out, he must Lave passed 
through the room occupied by his father and mother, 
who would assuredly have heard him ; and they both 
swore positively that they had not done so, that he 
had not passed through, and that the outer door had 
not been unfastened during the night. 

These good folks s;ave their evidence most admi- 

o o 

rably, and upon their being cross-examined by opposing 
counsel, their statements were not shaken in the least. 
They appeared to be honest and respectable people, and 
it was manifest that they felt acutely the miserable 
position in which their relative was placed. 

In summing up, the Assistant Judge, Sir William, 
pooh-poohed the alibi. He observed that they must 
all feel sorry for the witnesses. They were, however, 
relatives of the prisoner, and, therefore, they had the 
strongest inducement to shield him. His lordship also 
pointed out that it had transpired that the prisoner 
was the breadwinner of the family, whose members, 
he added, had thus an additional motive for stating 
that which was not true. He then went on to explain 
to the jury how easy it was to establish an alibi. " You 
have only," he said, " to state a certain number of 
facts which are actually true, to change the date, and 
there you have your alibi. This is how alibi-s are 

The jury returned a verdict of " Guilty," and the 
prisoner was sentenced to five years' penal servitude. 


Twelve months elapsed, and again, in the same 
Court and before the same Judge, I appeared to defend 
a man who was charged with an offence of the same 
class. It was a wholesale business ; the prisoner had 
been at it for years. He rented a cottage, attached 
to which were some out-houses, used by him for the 
slaughter of the sheep he had stolen. Some of the 
animals' carcases were found hanging in one of these 
receptacles, and close by lay a heap of the skins, 
with the marks of the owners branded upon them. 
Further than this, there was the evidence of the boots. 
In the mud at the place where the sheep were stolen, 
footprints were found, and it w r as seen that there had 
been four nails missing from one of the boots that 
had made those footprints. This was the boot of the 
right foot, and it was discovered that four nails were 
also missing from the prisoner's right boot. 

The case was one of those in which counsel for the 
defence has little to do. He can only, as Huddlestou 
once put it, jump in and splash about. I did this ; 
but it is scarcely necessary to mention the result. 
The prisoner was found guilty. The Judge asked 
him if he had anything to say, and, to the astonish- 
ment of everybody, he replied : 

"Nothing about myself, my lord, but something 
about you. A. year ago you condemned an innocent 
man, and he is at present undergoing penal servitude. 
Mr. Williams, my counsel, was counsel for him. It 
was I who stole the sheep that were driven from 

TOO LATE ! 129 

Hornsey to the Meat Market. I am he for whom 
the innocent man was identified. Look at me, sir ; 
look at me, Mr. Williams." 

I looked, and perceived that the prisoner was 
speaking the truth ; the men were as like as two 

The Judo;e for no Jud^e likes to think he has 

o o 

been wrong pooh-poohed the matter ; but the chair- 
man of the Drovers' Association, on reading the report 
of the trial in the newspapers, took the matter up. 
The Drovers' Association, fortunately, is not a poor 
body. The case was brought before the Home Secretary, 
affidavits were made, proofs were exhibited, and, in 
the end, Her Majesty's "pardon" was granted to the 
man who had been wrongly condemned. 

The poor fellow was liberated, in a terribly shattered 
state of health. What reparation could be made to 
him ? His wife had died during his imprisonment, 
and the other members of the family he no longer 
being present to support them had been driven into 
the workhouse. These facts were brought before 
Parliament by one of the metropolitan Members, and the 
matter was discussed, with the result that it was 
decided to give this man, as compensation for the 
wrongs he had sustained, a sum of money I forget 
the exact sum, but it was not a large one. 

What sarcasm ! The man had become hopelessly 
insane, and, if still alive, is an inmate of one of the 
metropolitan lunatic asylums. 

VOL. I. K 


I cannot forbear from referring to an incident that 
occurred in connection with the trial of Karl Kohl, early 
in the year 1865, for the cruel murder of Theodore 
Christian Flihrhop. The prisoner was prosecuted by the 
Solicitor-General, Serjeant Ballantine, and Mr. Hannen. 
(now President of the Divorce Court), and was defended 
by Mr. Best and Mr. Harry Palmer. The case may be 
brought home to the recollection of some of my readers 
when I mention that it was known as the murder of the 
Plaistowe Marshes. 

Poor Best was always most unfortunate in his 
clients. He used to be the defending counsel in a great 
many murder cases of the poorer sort. By that I mean, 
cases in which there was very little money. 

Just as Best was about to rise to address the jury 
for the prisoner, a large white envelope was handed to 
him by the usher. It was sealed with black sealing- 
wax and bound with black ribbon. Upon opening it, 
Best discovered that the envelope contained a black 
hatband and a pair of black kid gloves. These had been 
sent to him by Hawkins, as anticipatory mourning for 
his client. 

I am here reminded of another anecdote about Best. 
He was a most extraordinary elocutionist, and was 
always indulging in sensational and high-flown forms 
of speech. On one occasion he was conducting a case 
of debt at Westminster before a common jury, and, 
addressing them, he said : " Gentlemen, your verdict is 
life or death to my client, the defendant. He is a poor 


man, and an adverse verdict will be his ruin. Con- 
sider, gentlemen, what it would be to the plaintiff. 
Why, it would be nothing to him. He is a man of 
substance and of means, and to him an adverse verdict 
would be only like a fly-blow in the ocean." 

K 2 



The Cannon Street murder Evidence of the cook An important 
letter Mrs. Bobbins' testimony Statement by George Terry 
I call witnesses for the defence Great conflict of evidence : the 
issue hopelessly confused A verdict of "K"ot Guilty" The 
murder remains a mystery My friend Douglas Straight My 
earliest recollection of him : how he cuffed the ears of two small 
boys "The Twins"- An amusing observation that we over- 

THE next trial of any importance in which I was 
concerned was that of William Smith for the murder 
of Sarah Milson, housekeeper to Messrs. Bevington 
and Sons, of No. 2, Cannon Street, City, the case 
being popularly known as "The Cannon Street Murder." 
I appeared as counsel for the accused at the preliminary 
hearing before the magistrate at the Mansion House, 
when my client was committed for trial. 

The case came on at the Central Criminal Court 
on the 13th and 14th of June. It was in the 
mayoralty of Sir Benjamin Phillips, and the Judge 
was Mr. Baron Bramwell. The prosecution was con- 
ducted by Messrs. Metcalfe and Douglas Straight, 


and the defence by Serjeant Ballantine, myself, and 
Mr. Littler. The case was one in which I took a 
very great deal of interest, because, as will be seen 
by-and-by, the prisoner was a native of Eton ; and 
the alibi that we set up involved a question as to 
whether he could have got to the Slough Station in 
a given time from the far end of Windsor. As the 
reader will remember, I had lived at Windsor and 
Eton in my early days and therefore was very familiar 
with the whole locality. 

It appeared that the deceased woman was a widow, 
and that she had been in Messrs. Bevington's employ- 
ment for some years. The premises were looked after 
by her and a man named Kit, part of whose duty 
it was to lock the doors at night, when all the 
" hands " had left. He gave the keys to Mrs. Milson, 
taking care to keep the key of the safe separate from 
the others. The only possible access to the building 
at night was from Cannon Street. 

The murder took place on the evening of Wednesday, 
the llth of April. Kit deposed that, when he had 
locked up on that day, he called Mrs. Milson through 
the speaking tube, and, upon her coming downstairs, 
handed her the keys. Afterwards, having seen that 
the gas was alight in the lobby, he left the building, 
Mrs. Milson showing him out. 

The next witness was the cook, who had been 
in the establishment about the same length of time 
as Mrs. Milson. On the night of the murder, she 


and the deceased were the only two persons in the 
building. In her evidence, she stated that after the 
place had been closed, and while Mrs. Milson was 
sitting in the dining-room, and she was in the bed- 
room, she heard a ring at the bell. She was about 
to go down and answer it, when Mrs. Milson called 
out to her from the dining-room, saying : 

"Elizabeth, the bell is for me; I will go down." 

This was, as nearly as the witness could recollect, 
at about ten minutes past nine. She never saw 
Mrs. Milson alive again. On subsequently going 
down with a candle, she found the poor creature lying 
dead at the foot of the stairs. At once she ran to 
the door and, seeing a police-constable, called him in. 
They examined the body, and found that the head 
of the deceased was partially battered in, and that 
there was a quantity of blood upon the stairs. 

This witness further deposed that on several evenings, 
prior to the date in question, a man had called to see 
the housekeeper. The witness said that she herself 
had never seen this man ; but that on one occasion, 
just before his arrival, Mrs. Milson had borrowed two 
sovereigns from her. She lent the money, and it was 
afterwards repaid. 

The constable who had been called in was next placed 
in the box, and, having given evidence as to the position 
in which he found the body, produced a crowbar which 
he had discovered lying close by, and which, though 
it had no stains of blood remaining upon it, was un- 


doubtedly the instrument with which the murder was 

In the course of the evidence, a letter was produced 
which was found in one of the boxes of the deceased. 
It ran as follows : 

"Mrs. Milson, the bearer of this, I have sent to 
you as my adviser. I have taken this course, as I 
have received so much annoyance from Mrs. Webber 
that I can put up with it no longer. I will propose 
terms to you which you may except or not at your 
pleasure. Failing to your agreeing to this proposal, 
he is instructed by me to see Mr. Bevington, and explain 
to him how the matter stands. You know yourself 
what reasons you put forth for borrowing the money- 
doctors' bills and physicians for your husband, which 
you know was not so. I shall also have him bring 
your sister before Mr. Bevington, if necessity, or your 
obstinacy, compels my adviser to go to the extreme. 

" (Signed) GEORGE TERRY.''" 

A receipt was also produced which had been found 
with the letter. It was in the following terms : 

"Received of Mrs. Milson, 1. W. Denton, for 
George Terry, 20, Old Change." 

It was proved in the course of the case that the 
prisoner had at one time lived at that address. 

John Moss, a City detective, detailed the circum- 
stances under which he apprehended the prisoner. He 


proceeded to Eton, it appears, with the letter and the 
receipt in his pocket. Calling at 6, Eton Square, he 
found the prisoner and his mother there. 

He said to the former : "Is your name William 
Smith?" The reply was: "Yes." He then said: 
" When were you in London last ? ): To this the 
prisoner replied : " On the 10th of January, with my 
mother." The witness deposed that he then showed 
the prisoner the document signed " W. Denton, for 
George Terry," and asked : " Is this your hand- 
writing?' 1 The prisoner answered: "Yes, it is. I 
now know what you mean. I wrote a note for a 
man." The detective deposed that he then went on 
to say: "Were you in London last week?' 1 to which 
the prisoner replied: "Let my mother answer you." 
The woman then said that she thought her son was 
not in London during the week, and upon being 
asked what time he came home on the night in 
question, she replied that she could not tell what time 
it was, as she was in bed when he arrived. She 
went on to say that he had been a great trial 
to her, for he never would do any work. The witness 
said that after being arrested, the prisoner was brought 
up to London, and that on the journey to town he wore 
a tall hat. The detective stated, however, that he 
found a "billycock" belonging to the prisoner in his 
mother's house. Smith was told that he would be 
charged with wilful murder, and that it was most 
important for him to remember where he was between 


seven and ten o'clock on the llth of April. He 
considered awhile, and then said : " I was with a Mr. 
Harris ; " then he added, " I first went with that 
letter" (alluding to the document signed "W. Denton, 
for George Terry"). "The latter part of last year 
I called there at about three o'clock in the afternoon. 
She (Mrs. Milson) was washing up, I believe, at the 
time. It was either Thursday or Friday." The 
detective then said : " Did you write the receipt ? " 
To this the prisoner replied : (i It is of no use 
denying that it is in my handwriting. It can be 
proved to be." On being pressed as to why he had 
signed " W. Denton," he said : " I have sometimes 
called myself by that name." The prisoner went on 
to say that he had called three times on Mrs. Milson, 
that she had paid him two sovereigns, and that he 
had given her a receipt each time. 

John Foulger, an Inspector of the City Police at 
Bow Lane Station and I may here, in parenthesis, 
say, one of the ablest officers of that most excellent 
force deposed that on the day after the murder, a 
woman named Mrs. Bobbins came to him and said 
that she could give some information respecting a man 
who had left Messrs. Bevington's premises on the 
previous evening. The Inspector then went on to 
explain an artifice that was resorted to in order to 
see whether Mrs. Bobbins would be able to identify 
the man in custody as the man whom she saw leave 
Messrs. Bevington's premises. The prisoner, without 


being handcuffed, and accompanied by two officers in 
plain clothes, was made to walk from Bow Lane to 
the Mansion House, Cannon Street being of course 
traversed en route. There was nothing to indicate 
that the man was in custody, as he was permitted 
to walk in perfect freedom. Inspector Foulger had 
previously told Mrs. Bobbins to stand at her door 
for a quarter of an hour and see whether she saw 
any one resembling the man to whom she had referred. 
After the prisoner had passed by, the Inspector went 
to Mrs. Bobbins, and, in consequence of what she told 
him, requested her to come to the Mansion House. 
A number of persons were there placed with the 
prisoner in a room, through which Mrs. Bobbins was 
made to pass and repass. As she was traversing the 
room for the second time, she exclaimed, pointing to 
the prisoner : "The third man is the man that I 


Inspector Foulger was subjected to a long and able 
cross-examination by the Serjeant, who endeavoured, 
by his questions, to obtain an admission to the effect 
that the artifice resorted to afforded an indirect means 
of fixing Mrs. Bobbins' attention upon the prisoner. 

A man of the name of Betterson gave evidence, 
and stated that, about four or five months ago, while 
in the warehouse, he saw the prisoner, who asked for 
Mrs. Milson. Another witness was a woman who 
deposed that she was on friendly terms with Mrs. 
Milson, whom she was in the habit of visiting, and 


that, on the occasion of one of her visits, she had 
seeu the prisoner at the house in Cannon Street. 

Catherine Collins, who had been a servant of 
Mrs. Bobbins during the two or three months pre- 
vious to the murder, stated that she had seen the 
prisoner call next door on more than one occasion. 

Mrs. Bobbins herself was the next witness, and 
upon her to a very large extent the prosecution de- 
pended. She said that she was a widow, and that 
she acted as housekeeper at No. 1, Cannon Street, 
living on the premises with her servant, Catherine 
Collins. She stated that, on the llth April, she went 
out at about ten minutes to eight, returning at about 
ten minutes to ten. She rang the bell, and, just as 
she was doing so, was very much alarmed by the 
violent slamming of Messrs. Bevington's door. Look- 
ing round, she saw a man leave the steps, and pass 
her on the right. He gave her a side look as he 
passed her, with reference to which proceeding the. 
witness used the following extraordinary expression : 
"His left eye and my right eye met at the same 
moment." The light of the hall-lamp was shining 
on the man's face, and he walked in a very hurried 
manner, leaning forward as he went. When she saw 
him leave Messrs. Bevington's, he was wearing dark 
clothes, and a tall hat. 

George Terry was then put into the box, and 
he stated that he was at present an inmate of St. 
Olave's Workhouse. He had, he said, known Mrs. 


Milson during her husband's lifetime, when she lived 
next door to him. She was friendly with his wife 
at the time. As she was in difficulties, he got a 
Mrs. Webber to lend her some money he believed 
as much as 35. Some time afterwards, he himself 
got into difficulties, and ultimately had to go into 
the workhouse. At the end of the previous year 1865 
he was lodging in Dancer Street, near the Mint. 
He knew the prisoner then by sight, and that was 
all. They were living at the same lodging-house. 
He knew the prisoner by the name of Bill. One day 
he said to the prisoner: "There is some money owing 
to me," to which the prisoner replied : " I can get it." 
They then talked the matter over, and the prisoner 
promised that he would see about it. The next day 
they went out together, and, after the witness had 
bought a piece of paper, they went to the " Globe ' : 
public-house, where the prisoner wrote a letter. 

The witness said he did not remember what was in 
the letter, which, however, he knew was addressed to 
Mrs. Milson. They both went out together, and he 
pointed out to the prisoner the establishment of Messrs. 
Bevington, in Cannon Street. The prisoner called 
there, and, when he came out, said he had been told 
that he could not see Mrs. Milson then, but that he 
must return at about three o'clock. They went away, 
but returned at the specified hour, when the prisoner 
again entered the premises alone. He reappeared in 
about half an hour's time, and said : " How much do 


you think I've got ? " The witness replied, " Two- 
pounds ; " but the prisoner explained that he had only 
got twelve shillings. He handed over a portion of the 
money, remarking that Mrs. Milson had had to borrow 
it from the cook. The witness went on to say that he 
had never sent the prisoner to the house again, and was 
not aware that he had received two other sums of one 
pound each. 

Henry Giles, a boat-builder, of Brockhurst Lane, 

Eton, gave some most important evidence. He said 

that, on the llth or 12th of April, he saw the prisoner 

in Bingfield's beerhouse. Addressing the prisoner, the 

witness said : " Will you have a game of dominoes ? " 

To this the reply had been, " I can't, as I have forty 

miles to go to-night." The witness said: "You can't 

go forty miles to-night," to which the prisoner replied : 

" Yes, I can. Supposing I were to go to London and 

back, that would make it, wouldn't it ? " The witness 

said: "But you are not going to London to-night," 

to which the reply was : " Yes, I am." The witness 

then said : " You're a liar ! " and they parted. This, it 

appeared, took place at about seven o'clock in the 

evening. Giles deposed that at that time the prisoner 

was wearing a black chimney-pot hat, a black coat, and 

dark trousers. A witness named Blackman stated that 

some time after seven o'clock, on the night in question, 

he saw the prisoner hurrying towards Slough. A 

guard on the Great Western Railway deposed that on 

Wednesday, the llth of April, he worked the 7.43 


train from Slouch to PaddiuQjton. It left Slough, lie 

o o o * 

said, at the proper time, and arrived at Paddington at 
8.40 the exact minute it was due. It was also proved 
by the guard that on the same night a train left 
Paddington at 10.45, and arrived at Windsor at 11.43. 
It was also given in evidence that anybody, under ordi- 
nary circumstances, could walk from Paddington Station 
to Bishop's Eoad Station in three minutes, and that the 
Metropolitan Railway trains ran every five or ten 
minutes from Bishop's Eoad to Farringdon Street and 
Moorgate Street stations, the time occupied on the 
journey being from twenty to twenty-three minutes. 

This concluded the case for the prosecution. My 
leader made his speech, and I proceeded to call a number 
of witnesses for the defence. 

It is clear that everything depended upon the where- 
abouts of the accused on the day of the murder; and it 
will have been seen that a great deal of evidence had 
been given which pointed, apparently conclusively, to 
his having been upon the scene of the crime. I was now 
able to bring forward some remarkable evidence, how- 
ever, which had the effect of hopelessly confusing the 
issue, for witness after witness came forward and testi- 
fied, with much minuteness of detail, to the fact of the 
prisoner, on the night in question, having been at Eton. 
These witnesses included a bootmaker, for whom the 
prisoner had .worked on the llth of April, and the boot- 
maker's son ; a photographer, who swore positively that 
he saw the prisoner, between eight and half-past, in a 


public-house at Windsor ; three men, who deposed to 
having played cards with him at that public-house at 
the time specified ; the wife of the proprietor of the 
public-house, who said she had served him with beer as 
late as twenty minutes past eleven ; and his two sisters. 

At the end of the evidence, Mr. Baron Bramwell 
one of the brightest, soundest, and most lucid Judges 
that ever sat upon the English Bench summed up, and 
the jury, after mature deliberation, returned a verdict 
of "Not Guilty," whereupon the prisoner was released. 

So far as I am aware, from that day to this, nothing 
more has been heard about the perpetrator of this crime. 
This is, indeed, one of the many cases of murder in 
which justice remains unsatisfied ; and, owing to the 
lapse of time, there is every probability that no further 
light will ever now be thrown upon the mystery. 

My very dear friend, Douglas Straight, was called to 
the Bar on the llth of November, 1865. Thus only 
seven months had elapsed when he figured in this im- 
portant case. His leader, as already stated, was Mr. 
Metcalfe, who, I may here mention, subsecpently became 
a Q.C., and is now County Court Judge of Bristol. 
Douglas Straight and I were opposed to one another on 
this and on many subsequent occasions a circumstance, 
however, that never for one moment affected the friend- 
ship existing between us. 

We were, indeed, the most intimate and the staunchest 
of friends, and so we remain to this day. He is now 
Mr. Justice Straight, of Allahabad, one of the North- 

144 "THE TWINS." 

West Provinces of India. In 1891, I believe, he will 
become entitled to his pension, and will return to his 
native land and to his legion of friends. Douglas 
Straight has been the architect of his own fortunes, 
My earliest recollection of him dates from the time 
when, on leaving Harrow, he came to London, and, 
with a view to making a little money, turned his atten- 
tion to journalism. An evening newspaper called the 
Glow-worm, had just been started, and Douglas be- 
came one of its principal contributors. The precise 
circumstances under which I first encountered my future 
friend were somewhat peculiar. As I was crossing 
Waterloo Bridge one day, I saw a young man go up to 
two newsboys and soundly cuff their ears ; their offence 
being that they had failed to call out the Glow-worm in 
sufficiently stentorian tones. It was Douglas Straight. 
So intimate did Douglas and I become in after 
years, that people called us " The Twins." On one 
occasion we had been fighting a case against one 
another before an Alderman at the Guildhall, and, on 
leaving the building, we linked our arms, and proceeded 
together in the direction of " The Garrick," where we 
proposed to have lunch. I shall never forget the 
remark that fell from one of the by-standers as we 
passed up the street. " Lor, Bill," we heard him say, 
" ain't we bin sold ! Why, we thought they was 
cjuarrellin' together inside, like cat and dog. It's all 
a put-up job, Bill. Just look at 'em now, arm in 
arm, and roarin' with laughter like two old pals." 



No. 8, Upper Brook Street A new custom of mine Mr, and Mrs. 
Lawson's house at Twickenham The people who went there 
Napier Sttirt and the diamond merchant Sir John Holker's 
natural surprise Attempt to burn down The Daily Telegraph 
offices I am sent "Special" to Windsor A case of rob- 
bery My curious meeting with London detectives -- The 
statement one of them made to me regarding my client I am 
obliged to leave before the verdict is returned The prisoner's 
consequent indignation A verdict of " Not Guilty " How the 
released man treated the police to a champagne supper. 

I HAD migrated from Brompton, had lived two years 
in Gordon Street, Gordon Square, and, at the period of 
which I am now speaking, was located at No. 8, Upper 
Brook Street. With the exception of one week spent 
on the Lake of Geneva, with Douglas Straight and 
other friends, I had taken no holiday during the whole 
of my professional career. At length, however, the 
strain began to tell upon me, and, in order to obtain 
a change of air and scenery, without interfering with 
my work, it now became my practice, every summer, to 
take a house up the river, either at Twickenham or 
Tedclington. In those days Edward Lawson and his 

VOL. I. L 


wife had a charming place at Twickenham, called 
"The Grange." It had some historical associations, 
having been the orangery of the celebrated Mrs. 
Jordan. Mr. and Mrs. Lawson were famous for the 
Sunday parties they gave there. Lady Waldegrave, 
afterwards Lady Carlingford, had large gatherings of 
friends at Strawberry Hill, and every Sunday a 
detachment of them would come over to "The Grange." 


Among the number were usually Bernal Osborne, 
Henry James, Calcraft, and Hayward. The contingent 
of visitors from town as a rule included De Worms, 
Sir Henry Hoare, Serjeant Ballantine, Douglas Straight, 
Mr. and Mrs. Knox, John Clayton, dear old Sir Thomas 
Henry (the Chief Magistrate), Marcus Stone, Tom 
Eobertson, Madge Eobertson (now Mrs. Kendal), Mrs. 
Keeley, Patti, the Marquise de Caux, General Du Plat, 
Monty Corry, and Napier Sturt. Poor Napier ! a better 
friend man never had. He was always bemoaning his 
fate as a younger son, and it was a frequent practice 
of his to pull out a small silver watch, attached to 
which by way of chain was a common piece of string, 
and to declare that they were his only worldly pos- 
sessions. I cannot refrain at this point from telling an 
anecdote of Napier, the circumstances of which, when- 
ever they recur to my mind, cause me to smile. In 
Portland Place there lived a very opulent diamond 
merchant, who was a great entertainer, and very fond 
of gathering around his table those whom, in the 
vocabulary of certain persons, are termed "swells." 


His acquaintance with this envied class was limited, 
and thus it came about that the services of Napier, 
who knew everybody and went everywhere, became 
invaluable. Napier it was who sent out the invitations, 
and ordered the dinner, the proprietor of the establish- 
ment having nothing more to do than to pay the piper, 
and receive the guests. I attended one of these dinner 
parties, and sat next to Sir John Holker, then Attorney- 
General, who was present for the first time. Napier 
who had come late, and, in consequence, had not been 
able to pay his customary visit to the cellar with the 
butler to arrange what wines were to be drunk on 
tasting his claret, and not finding it to his liking, 
turned round to his host and said : 

" My dear , how do you suppose I am going to 

ask gentlemen to your table if you give them stuff like 
this to drink ? For God's sake, let your butler hand me 
the keys of the cellar, and come down with me, so that 
I may find something fit to drink ; " and without 
another word, he received the keys and left the room, 
presently to return triumphantly with several bottles 
of old Lafitte. I shall never forget the expression on 
my neighbour's face as he turned to me, and said : 
" Does he often do this ? ''' I replied : " Always." 

It was in 1866, that I held my first brief for the 
proprietors of The Daily Telegraph. I need hardly 
say that in those days the D. T. was thoroughly Glad- 
stonian. In point of fact, it was Mr. Gladstone's organ ; 
but tempora mutantur nos et mutamur in illis. 

Ll - 


A man named Poole was charged with setting fire to 
the offices of the newspaper, which were in Peterborough 
Court. At that time, Fred Whitehurst (brother of Felix, 
the clever Paris correspondent) was the manager, Mr. 
Joseph Ellis was the registered proprietor, Mr. Lionel 
Lawson and Mr. J. M. Levy were the principal pro- 
prietors, and a small share in the enterprise was held by 
Mr. Edward Lawson, and a gentleman named George 

Mr. Whitehurst was one of the principal witnesses 
in the case. It appeared that on Sunday the 24th of 
March, he was wending his way home from the office 
when he received the startling information that it was 


on fire. He at once returned, and was not a little 
relieved to find that the flames had already been 
practically extinguished. However, if the building had 
happily been saved from destruction, the situation was 
still a serious one. The fire had broken out in three 
distinct places, and was therefore clearly the work of an 
incendiary. Mr. \Yliitelmrst was able to place other 
significant facts before the jury. On the 10th inst. 
another fire had occurred at the office of The Daily 
Telegraph, and on that occasion the accused, who acted 
as time-keeper, had made the following report of the 
outbreak : 

" A fire having occurred this, Saturday, afternoon in 
the old buildings, No. 4, Peterborough Court, and I 
having discovered and extinguished the same, I beg to 
report it. It broke out, about four o'clock, in the 


basement of the building, and I wish to recommend to 
your notice a man who assisted me to extinguish the 

It appeared that this fire had broken out in the 
cellar, of which the only key was possessed by the 

As the case proceeded, it was proved, with reference 
to the fire of the 24th March, that on that day Poole 
entered the paper-room, and said to one of the men : 
" Are all the others gone yet ? " The man was, as a 
matter of fact, the last one of the " hands " left on the 
premises, and he said so. Another witness deposed 
that just before the fire broke out he was standing in 
the yard, and that the prisoner rushed out of the build- 
ing in an excited condition, and exclaimed : " What 
business have you here ? ' Further evidence was ad- 
duced that went to show that Poole was the only man 
on the premises when the outbreak occurred ; and in 
the end he was found guilty and sentenced to five years' 
penal servitude. 

It was about this time that, as one afternoon I was 
sitting in my chambers, my clerk came to me and said 
that a leading firm of solicitors were very anxious to 
know if, on the following Wednesday, I could go 
''' special " to Windsor. I can scarcely say " special," 
however, for just before this my father had died, and I 
had followed the example of Sir Henry James, and 
changed from the Home to the Oxford Circuit, joining 
the Berkshire Sessions. The fee offered, however, was 


so large that I looked upon it as a " special " case. It 
so happened that the Sessions of the Central Criminal 
Court were held in this particular week, and I had 
made it an invariable rule, since the time that I got 
into considerable practice at the Old Bailey, not to leave 
it while the Sessions were on. My reply, therefore, was 
that I did not particularly care about the case, and that, 
if I accepted it, I should very likely have to neglect it 
at the last moment. In about an hour's time the 
attorney himself called at my chambers, and, on seeing 
me, said : 

" You really must go to Windsor on Wednesday. 
My client is most anxious to have your services. It is 
not a question of money at all. Name your own fee I 
mean anything in reason and I shall be delighted to 
deliver the brief and hand your clerk the cheque." 

I refused to suggest a sum, but he named so tempting 
a one that I was unable any longer to resist. 

On subsequently looking the brief over, judge of my 
surprise to find that the case was only a very ordinary 
one. Two men one of whom only had been arrested 
-were charged with stealing a cash-box in a public- 
house in Peascod Street, Windsor, on the Cup day of 
Ascot Races. I read my papers, and the case appeared 
to be as conclusive as it could be. The two men had 
gone down from Paddington to Windsor, where they 
had arrived at about eleven o'clock in the morning, and 
they had proceeded together to the public-house, which 
was of a sporting character. Two or three barmaids 


were serving the customers at the time, and, while the 
men were having some refreshment, it became necessary 
for one of the girls to go to the cash-box and get change 
for half-a-sovereign. She threw the lid of the box right 
open, thereby disclosiog to view a number of notes and 
a quantity of gold. When the races were over the men 
returned to the public-house, and the one in custody 
made some excuse to go to the back of the bar. In 
doing so he distracted the attention of the woman in 
charge of the cash-box, whereupon the other man 
snatched it up, and the two hastily decamped. They 
were followed, and their pursuers, after going a little 
way, saw them in the distance dividing their spoil. 
They took to their heels, and the more nimble of the 
two made good his escape, the other one being caught. 

The Recorder of Windsor at that time was Mr. 
Skinner, Q.C. He was, I believe, rather a convicting 
Judge, and perhaps it was necessary that he should 
be, for, as I afterwards learnt (having to go to Windsor 
on several occasions), the juries there were peculiar ones, 
not unfrequently including among their number one 
or two receivers of stolen goods. 

On the day of the trial I arrived at Windsor at 
about ten o'clock. As I was not likely to be wanted 
much before noon, and as I was rather desirous of 
visiting anew the haunts of my youth, I set out in 
the direction of the "White Hart," where I resolved 
to order some breakfast. I had not proceeded many 
yards down the High Street, however, when I met 


any number of London detectives, amongr them beincr 

. ^ o o 

Serjeants Cole and Chamberlaine, and two or three 
inspectors of the Metropolitan and City police. I 
thought their presence at Windsor rather odd ; but 
I went in to breakfast without troubling my head 
about the matter. On subsequently leaving the " White 
Hart," and proceeding in the direction of the Town 
Hall, I met some more of these servants of the law, 
and, going up to one of the chief of them, said : 
' What are all you men doing down here ? " 

The officer, with a laugh, replied : 

You're the cause, sir ; we've come about that man 
you are going to defend for stealing the cash-box. 
We've got him this time, and don't mean to let him 
go. We can't imagine how he came to do this. It 
isn't his line at all. We've been trying to catch him 
for years, but never could manage it." 

I became somewhat interested, and was anxious 
for further particulars. 

" Who is he ? " I asked ; and the officer replied : 

'He's the one that finds the brains, and seldom 

runs the risk. He is the architect of all the bio- 


burglaries and portico robberies that take place in the 
metropolis and provinces. He's a wonderful man, and 
when a place in the country has been spotted, he goes 
down and carefully arranges all the plans for bringing 
off the job. In fact, his is the head that directs. His 
inferiors, who crack the crib, or mount the portico, 
simply and solely carry out his instructions. He has 


regular depots for tlie disposal of the gold, jewellery, 
plate, etc., not only in this country, but also in 
different parts of Holland. We know all these facts, and 
others besides. It was he who planned Lady Margaret 

's robbery ; you must remember it, sir, it's not 

so very long ago when thousands upon thousands 
of pounds worth of jewellery were stolen. What beats 
us, you know, is that he should have had anything 
to do with a paltry thing like this a matter of only 
two or three hundred pounds ; but we've come to 
the conclusion that he saw the cash-box in the morning, 
and that the sight was too much for him. He was 
out for a spree at the races, and I suppose he thought 
he'd like to pay his exes." 

I was very much interested and amused at what the 
officer told me ; but, at this point, I had to leave him, 
and proceed into Court. As the prisoner, who, by-the- 
bye, was prosecuted by Mr. J. 0. Griffiths, entered the 
Court to take his place in the dock, I saw a pleased 
expression pass over his face, as he assured himself of 
the arrival of the counsel he had chosen. The prisoner 
was a quiet, fairly well-dressed man, not unlike the 
sporting publican himself. 

The case began at twelve o'clock, and occupied the 
whole of the day. Now, I had made an appointment 
for ten o'clock that night, in London, and though it was 
not on business, it was one that I did not care to break. 
It was soon apparent, however, that the case was going 
to extend itself far into the evening. After the speeches 


had been delivered on both sides, Skinner summed up, 
and a more sweeping charge, I think, I never heard. 
Nevertheless, it did not appear to have much effect 
upon the jury. 

An advocate who has had large experience (especially 
if that experience has been in criminal cases), can pretty 
well, when he has finished speaking, tell which way 
most of the jury incline. It was a custom of mine to 
try and make sure of two or three of the most likely 
men first, and then to devote my attention to the 
others. Sometimes one man in particular would 
present special difficulties. It would be easy to see 
that he had formed an opinion adverse to my client, 
and was sitting there, resolved not to be influenced by 
what I was saying. There was nothing for it but to 
patiently hammer away. I found it was half the battle 
to rouse him from his indifference, and to thoroughly 
arrest his attention ; while, of course, if he once opened 
his mouth to make an inquiry, and thus gave me an 
opportunity of addressing myself directly to him, I 
could usually count upon his allegiance. It was some- 
times my experience, too, that, when it came to con- 
sidering the verdict, one or two strong men would easily 
carry their fellow-jurors along with them. 

But all this is by the way. Skinner's summing-up 
concluded shortly after six o'clock, and the foreman 
asked permission for the jury to retire. The excite- 
ment of the prisoner during the latter part of the 
case had been intense. His mouth twitched nervously 


and he kept fidgeting with his hands ; and I felt it 
was pretty certain that, if he got out of his present 
scrape, he would be slow to risk being a second time 

The last train I could catch in order to reach 
London by ten o'clock was one leaving Windsor at 
about half-past eight. I told the solicitor who had 
instructed me that, as it would be useless for me to 
wait any longer, and as nothing remained for us to do 
but to receive the verdict, I proposed to take my 
departure and catch the train. He replied : " Well, 
the prisoner will make a great fuss if you do. I 
know he's set his mind entirely on you, and if you 
go, I won't answer for what he'll do or say." 

I replied : 

" I really don't mind. I have performed my part 
of the contract, and I'm going." 

I was seated just underneath the jury-box (this 
being my favourite place in all courts of justice), and 
it so happened that I could not leave the building 
without passing the dock. As I did so, the prisoner 
caught me by the gown, and said, with evident 
anxiety : 

" You are not going, sir ! ''' Well, it is not cus- 
tomary for counsel to speak to prisoners ; but there I 
was I had to say something. 

" I am going," I replied ; " I've done all I can for 
you, and I must be in town by ten o'clock." 

" Good God, sir," said he, " don't desert me ; if you 


stay I know I shall win. I know what Mr. has 

marked upon your brief double the sum ! treble ! 
if you'll only stay." 

I need hardly say that I proved inflexible 
Hurrying from the Court, I unrobed, handed my bag 
to my clerk, and just managed to catch the train as it 
was moving out of the station. 

The next morning I went as usual to the Central 
Criminal Court. On entering the building, whom should 
I encounter but two or three of the detectives I had 
seen on the previous day at Windsor. They smiled 
when they saw me, and one of them shook his head. 
I called him over, and said : " Well, and what became 
of that fellow I defended at Windsor yesterday ? " 

"Oh," he replied, "you've done us, sir. The jury 
didn't come back till eleven o'clock, and then they 
brought it in 'Not Guilty.' We had to sleep at 
Windsor all night, and we've only just come up. 
Lor bless you, you should have seen that chap when 
the verdict was given ! He was out of the dock and 
in the streets in a twinkling. "When we got out, what 
did he do but turn to us, and say : ' Come along. I 
know what you were all here for ; but I don't bear no 
malice. It's all right now, so let's go and have a bottle 
or two of champagne.' Well, you know, sir," added 
the officer, with a grin, " it was no use then. The man 
was free, and, as we had to wait all night in Berkshire, 
we accepted his offer, and he stood champagne all 
round like a nobleman.' 


To this day, I don't think that man has ever been 
charged again ; in fact, I am sure he had not been up 
to two years ago, when I ceased to practise ; for had 
he once more fallen into the hands of the police, I am 
sure that I should have been the first to hear of it. 



The Middlesex Sessions An underpaid Judgeship Poor prisoners 
and their defence Where thieves used to live, and where they 
live now An impudent little pickpocket I defended East End 
lodging-houses : a disgraceful state of things Suggestions for 
reform Midnight rambles in the East End How a friend and 
I tried the effects of opium The " Bridge of Sighs " A woman 
lying in the snow with a child in her arms The poor creature's 
desperate resolve We take her to the refuge. 

I HAD not been many years at the Bar before I did 
more business than anybody else in defending prisoners 
at the Middlesex Sessions. The Middlesex Sessions 
were held at the Clerkenwell Session House, on Clerken- 
well Green, and they were mainly for the trial of 
quarter- session cases of the ordinary description, and 
of appeals from the decisions of the metropolitan 
magistrates. There were two sets of Sessions in 


London the Middlesex and the Surrey. The latter 
were presided over by Mr. Hardman, the editor of 
Tlie Morning Post, and a bench of unpaid magistrates ; 
the former by Sir William Bodkin, who received a 
salary of 1,500, and by a Deputy- Assistant Judge, 


who sat in the Second Court, and who was paid, as a 
sort of journeyman, five guineas a day. The calendars 
at Middlesex were very heavy, and the Sessions were 
held once a fortnight. The list nearly always contained 
the names of over a hundred prisoners ; thus, more 
than two hundred were tried every month. 

The position of Assistant Judge is an important 
one, and, as I have always held, is exceedingly badly 
paid. Sir Peter Edlin is the present Assistant Judge ; 
and I observe from a report in the newspapers, that 
the London County Council, under whom the Surrey 
Sessions are now practically abolished, and Middlesex 
and Surrey grouped together under the name of the 
London County Sessions have positively refused, 
though the work has been almost doubled, to sanction 
any increase of the salary. I am of opinion that it 
is quite impossible to get a really good and strong 
man to discharge the very onerous duties of the office 
at the small stipend now attached to it. 

The Clerkenwell Bar has turned out some very 
good men, notably Serjeants Ballantine and Parry, 
the present Lord Chancellor, and Mr. Poland, Q.C.; 
Surrey can boast of Mr. Douglas Straight and Sir Edward 
Clarke, who won his spurs as a leading advocate in 
the Staunton case. A great many of the prisoners 
at the London Sessions are not defended through the 
intervention of a solicitor. Their friends who of 
course are usually very poor instruct counsel by 
either sending them, or handing them in Court, a 


copy of the depositions that is, the evidence that 
has been already taken before the magistrate. This 
is called being instructed in person, and the depositions 
are usually called " i.p.'s." I am afraid it would never 
do to inquire too curiously as to where, in these cases, 
the money comes from to instruct counsel. Very often, 
in cases of pocket-picking, watch robberies, assaults 
on the police, etc., the money represents the proceeds 
of what are termed friendly "leads," or meetings. 
The prisoner's friends hold an harmonic meeting at 
some public-house, where a small subscription is raised 
on his behalf. The printed invitations to this meet- 
ing that are distributed in the neighbourhood where 
the prisoner lives, are not drawn up in terms of absolute 
frankness. It is not bluntly stated that So-and-So 
is in prison, and in need of funds for his defence ; 
reference is, instead, made to the unfortunate fact that, 
having been incapacitated for work by breaking his 
leg, or some accident of that description, he is in 
financial difficulties. 

In the early days of my career as an advocate, 
a great many of the criminal classes were located in 
the neighbourhood of Tothill Fields. Petty thieves, 
and receivers of stolen property, mostly congregated 
in Seven Dials. Those places have now been morally 
disinfected ; the improvements there having swept away 
nearly all the small lodging-houses. Of course, a large 
proportion of the criminal classes always lived in 
Whitechapel, Shoreditch, and the reighbouring dis- 


tricts ; but, since the demolitions in the places to 
which I have just alluded, our whole criminal popula- 
tion seems to have concentrated itself in the East 

There is a peculiar look about the London pick- 
pocket, whose portrait, by the way, Dickens drew 
very accurately in describing Fagin's lads. He is 
small in stature his growth being stunted by drink, 
and other causes his hair is closely cropped (that 
being a matter of necessity), and there is a sharp, 
terrier-like look about his face. Such persons know 
no difference between right and wrong ; at least, a 
great many of them do not. They have, for the most 
part, been brought up to thieving from their earliest 
childhood, and, from the time they were twelve or 
thirteen years of age, when they had, probably, already 
undergone two or three short terms of imprisonment, 
they have been at war with society. 

I shall never forget my experiences in defending 
one of these gentry in the Second Court at ClerkenwelL 
On looking at the depositions handed to me, I believe 
by one of his friends, I saw that the case was a 
completely hopeless one. The prisoner was charged 
with stealing a watch in the neighbourhood of Finsbury 
Square. A man was standing there, his attention 
engaged on something that was going on in the road- 
way, when he felt a tug at his waistcoat, and, on 
looking down, found that his watch was gone, and 
that the broken end of his chain was hanging loosely 

VOL. I. M 


from his button-hole. Beside him stood the prisoner, 
whom he at once seized ; then, on looking down, he 
saw his watch lying on the pavement. There were 
several previous convictions against the accused, and, 
if the result of the trial were antagonistic, it was 
likely that the Judge would pass upon him a sentence 
of five or seven years' penal servitude. After the jury 
had been sworn, and the prisoner had pleaded, I 
crossed over to the dock and strongly recommended 
him to withdraw the plea he had just made, and 
substitute one of "Guilty," promising to say what 
I thought best for the purpose of mitigating his 

The little rascal was most indignant, and, turn- 
ing to me, said: "Go on, go on; I want you to do 
my case, and I beg you to do it, sir. I shall get out 
of it. You'll win, I know you will. You've done 
so twice before for me." 

I was somewhat amused at the impudence of my 
client, and returned to my seat, whereupon the trial 
proceeded. In the end, the prisoner's anticipation 
was realised, and he was acquitted. On hearing the 
verdict he began to literally dance in the dock, and, 
looking over to me, shouted out : "I told you so 
I told you so ! You never know what you can do till 
you try ; " then, with a bow to the Judge, he skipped 
down from his position and emerged into liberty. 

I have always been of opinion that a great deal 
of the crime of the metropolis I mean crime of 


this description is clue, in a great measure, to the 
want of care that is taken of the poorer classes. What 
is everybody's business seems to be nobody's business ; 
and the lodging-houses, or what are termed "doss" 

O O 

houses, in the East End, are a disgrace to civilisation. 
These places which are most numerous in the Shore- 
ditch, Whitechapel, and Commercial Road districts 
are simply and solely the hot-beds of crime. They 
are pernicious in every respect. In the first place, 
they are the home of the pickpocket and the ordinary 
street thief, as distinguished from the burglar. The 
last-named seldom resorts to them. To have any- 
thing like a fixed place of abode, where his goings 
and comings would be scrutinised, would indeed be 
fatal to his enterprise, for he carries about with him 
in his tools conclusive evidence of guilt. The ordinary 
thieves, however, crowd these establishments, where 
every little gossoon of fourteen or fifteen has his young 
woman. In point of fact, these houses are nothing 
more nor less than brothels. Those in the neighbour- 
hood of Flower and Dean Street, Weymouth Street, 
and the other alleys and byeways of Spitalfields, 
often contain as many as one hundred and fifty beds, 
half of them being what are termed " singles," and 
half of them " doubles." The " singles," that is, beds 
for single men, are let at fourpence a night ; the 
"doubles," for male and female, at eightpence. 

The rents paid for the buildings themselves by those 
who farm them some of whom are very well-to-do 

M 2 


persons, living at the West End, and utterly regardless 
how their income is derived are mostly very small ; 
thus, crowded as these houses are every night of the year, 
they represent a very remunerative investment. They 
are pernicious in other respects, besides harbouring 
thieves and prostitutes. Many a man sinks to the 
lowest depths of poverty through no fault of his own. 
Hard times come upon him, and one by one his 
little possessions find their way to the pawn-shop. 
The poor fellow clings desperately to his home ; but 
that, too, he loses at last. The rent is not forth- 
coming, and so he and his family are turned into 
the streets. Where can they go ? Of course there 
is the workhouse ; but so long as, by hook or by 
crook, the man can find the means to pay for board 
and lodging, to the workhouse he will not go. It 
is very natural. Poor persons have feelings like their 
more fortunate brethren, and the man knows that 
the moment he throws himself upon the parish he will 
be separated from his wife and children. There is 
absolutely no alternative but the common lodging- 
house, and the few coppers necessary to obtain a 
bed there are usually to be obtained. Once under 
the roof, the man is, to all intents and purposes, 
caught in the vortex of crime. New to his sur- 
roundings, and desperately eager to obtain food for 
his family, he may glide at once, and almost imper- 
ceptibly, into the dishonest practices of those about 
him ; or and this is perhaps more frequently the 


case he will resist the temptation for awhile, but 
at last, in face of the sneers and jeers of his dis- 
reputable companions, his moral courage will desert 
him. On entering the common lodging - house, his 
children, whose minds have perhaps previously been 
pure and untainted, will be compelled to listen to oaths, 
blasphemy, and all manner of filthy conversation. Nor 
does the hardship stop here. 

Parents are not permitted to allow their children 
to live where bad characters assemble, and the rescue 
officer from the Eeforrnatory and Refuge Union is 
empowered to go into places of this description, 
bring the children away from their parents, and take 
them before a magistrate, who, in nine cases out of 
ten, has no alternative but to send them to some in- 
dustrial or reformatory school. 

I have often discussed the question of these lodging- 
houses with one who, by his position, is, perhaps, 
better qualified than anybody else to understand their 
true character. I will repeat the gist of his statements. 

He said: "Mr. , whose experience has been very 

large, thinks that the plan of a complete separation 
of the sexes would be impracticable, or, if practicable, 
would give rise to worse evils. He thinks that, if 
enforced, it would lead to an extension of the fur- 
nished-room system, which occasions more shameful im- 
morality than is possible even in the common lodging- 
houses. When a search was recently being made 
through AVhitechapel and Spitalfields, in connection 


with the and murders, a constable told me that 

he said to a man named (a registered lodging-house 

keeper, and owner, or leaseholder, of furnished rooms in 
Great Pearle Street) : ' Do you know that all the 
women in your furnished rooms are street-walkers ? ' 
whereupon the answer was : ' I don't care what they 
are so long as they bring me in my money.' 

"The rooms are said to be let and sub-let, and women 
lead immoral lives there often in the presence of children. 
The rooms are let to any who want them sometimes 
to boys and girls of sixteen and seventeen years of 
a^e, and under. The furnished rooms are under no 

O 7 

supervision, and they are virtually places of ill-fame. 
They are to be found in Flower and Dean Street, 
Thrawl Street, and Great Pearle Street, at the East 
End ; in St. Clement's Eoad, Bangor Street, and St. 
Catherine's Eoad, at Netting Hill ; and in Macklin 
Street, Shelton Street, and Parker Street, at Drury 
Lane. The three thoroughfares last named, however, I 
should state, will shortly be demolished." 

I replied : 

" You tell me of a disease, or an aggravation of a 
disease, of the existence of which I was already well 
aware. You have had the greatest experience of any- 
body in the metropolis in these matters, and I should 
therefore like you to tell me what remedy you would 
propose to adopt." 

The answer was : " What seems to be necessary is a 
separation of the houses into classes. There should first 


be houses for single men, of which class the Victoria 

O * 

Home, in Commercial Street, from which known bad 
characters are excluded, is a good example. There are 
a very large number of dock labourers, and others, 
plunged into the depths of poverty, who would find these 
houses a suitable asylum. I am bound to say that some 
occupiers of houses try to keep order ; but the pro- 
prietors, many of whom are Jews, insist upon the beds 
being let. Their reply to every remonstrance, is : 
' Have respectable people if you can ; but let the 

beds.' ' 

My informant expressed the opinion that, in Spital- 
fields, there was room for a couple more houses like the 
Victoria Home, each accommodating two hundred men. 
He suggested that a pensioned policeman, from the H 
Division by preference, should be appointed as " deputy '' 

or manager. 

" As you are aware, sir," he continued, " the 
registered lodging-houses at present in existence, are 
under the supervision of a man and his wife, or of a 
woman only, such persons being, in many instances, con- 
victed thieves. It is not the business of the ordinary 
policeman to visit these houses, save and except when he 
is in pursuit of a criminal. In the whole Whitechapel 
district there are but one or two 'lodging-house sergeants/ 
that is, officers who have the sole right of visiting these 
places, each of which, therefore, is inspected only about 
once a week. In my plan, gross behaviour on the part of 
any lodger would ensure his prompt ejection. Life would 


thus be tolerable to those who are merely the victims of 
misfortune. The second class of houses that I would 
establish would be for sino-le women. Two houses, each 

O * 

with one hundred beds, would, I think, suffice for 
the Whitechapel district. They would shelter char- 
women, factory women, laundresses, flower-girls, etc. ; 
known prostitutes and thieves being rigidly excluded. 
Such houses should close not later than twelve o'clock ; 
the places at present in existence being open practically 
all night. The third class of houses would be for 
married couples. The existing houses for the accommo- 
dation of man and wife are of the vilest possible de- 
scription, bloodshed being of constant occurrence there. 

"A house at the corner of George Street and Tkrawl 
Street is a horrible den. Every policeman knows it, but 
never ventures to enter it, and, under the present 
system, he would in all probability be reprimanded if he 
attempted to report it. Besides, constables, after a long 
day's work, do not like reporting. There is no doubt 
that the present mixture of single men and single 
women with married couples is an incitement to vice. 
A single woman plies her trade, selling matches, flowers, 
fruit, etc. ; her earnings get her bread, perhaps, or beer, 
but frequently she has no lodging-money. What follows 
under the present system is obvious. The proprietors 
of the houses should, in my opinion, be licensed, and 
their license withdrawn upon any act of flagrant impro- 
priety being proved against them. I do not say that 
this idea of mine would in any way diminish the 


number of the criminal classes. They would remain. 
The filthy would be filthy still ; the thieves would still 
be thieves. But here is where the advantage would come 
i n they would no longer have the power to corrupt 
others. Flower and Dean Street, Thrawl Street, Fashion 
Street, and Wentworth Street all want widening. They 
need to be intersected by an improved George Street, and 
it is greatly to be desired that they should all be well 
lighted and well patrolled. This would diminish crime. 
Every lodging-house keeper should be quite free from 
the suspicion of being a receiver of stolen property. At 
present any one who conforms to sanitary regulations- 
clean beds, walls, floors, etc. can get and keep a 

Of course my informant's experience has been far 
greater than mine, but I entirely agree with everything 
he says. For years, when at the Bar, it was my custom, 
every now and then, to pay a nocturnal visit to the 
haunts of the criminal classes in the East End. I was 
never interfered with. Sometimes, by permission, I was 
accompanied by a member of the police force in plain, 
clothes, but frequently I went alone. 

One day I and a friend, attended by a constable, 
embarked on an expedition of this kind, during which 
we were the means, I think, of saving a human life, 
We visited, some time before twelve o'clock, the 
different dancing-houses and gin-palaces in Blue Gate 
Fields and its neighbourhood : thence we went to the 

O * 

small lane in which the Chinese opium-smokers mostly 


congregate. Here we tried the effect of the strange 
drug, though, as I need hardly say, only to a small 
extent. We then proceeded to the refuges of the 
district ; places where, up to, I think, one o'clock in the 
morning, the casual can, under certain circumstances, 
obtain admission. He gets his bed such as it is and 
his breakfast some bread and water, I think for 
which, before he leaves in the morning, he has to do a 
certain amount of work, such as stone-breaking or 

It was a bitterly cold night, and shortly after two it 
came on to snow violently. "We were about to visit the 


last of the refuges, and our way took us to a bridge 
going over part of the docks, where, as I afterwards 
learnt, the water was some forty or fifty feet deep. 
The bridge itself is known by the suggestive name of 
the " Bridge of Sighs," on account of the number of 
suicides that take place there. It is now, I believe, 
always guarded by a policeman on what is termed 
"fixed point" duty. 

When we were some little way from the bridge, the 
officer accompanying us noticed something that had 
escaped our attention. It was a dark bundle lying in 
the snow. He drew forth his lantern, or struck a light 
I forget which and we then discovered that the 
bundle consisted of two human beings, a woman and a 
child. The mother had done all she could to keep the 
bitter, numbing cold from her infant. She had divested 
herself of her shawl, which must have served the double 


purpose of bonnet and wrap, and had folded it around 
the child. The woman was very poorly clad, but 
apparently respectable, and the child was scrupulously 
clean and neatly dressed. The woman told us that she 
had been turned out of her home ; that she had no- 
where to go to, and no one to help her ; and that she 
had determined to go the road so many had traversed 
before her, and, with one final plunge, end her own and 
her child's misery. She had, however, sunk down just 
before she reached the Bridge of Sighs, the snow had 
come on, and her child had fallen asleep. 

At this hour in the morning, what on earth was 
to be done ? There seemed no chance of finding 
shelter for the poor creatures. We three, though well 
wrapped up, were half frozen with the cold ; what, 
then, must the poor woman and her child be suffering ! 

I suggested to the officer that we should take the 

* CD 

woman to the refuge ; but his answer was : " I wouldn't 
do that, sir, if I were you. The master of the refuge 
is a rather peculiar man. It is now over an hour 
past the receiving time, and if you insisted upon his 
taking the woman ;: (and here the officer spoke with 
a touch of genuine feeling) " I think it would be the 
worst for her, poor thing ! " 

We were not to be alarmed by this, and we 
managed to assist the poor woman and her child to 
the refuge. Though I told the man in authority who 
I was, he positively refused to take the poor creatures 
in. It was against orders, he explained. I told him 


that I would be responsible for the consequences, and 
made an entry to that effect in his book. At this 
he showed some signs of compliance ; but what turned 
the scale was my announcement that my companion 
was an earl, and intimately connected with the Local 
Government Board. 

The woman and child were admitted ; and early 
next morning, before I proceeded to my legal duties, 
my friend and I again visited the refuge, and made 
inquiries into the case that we had assisted. We 
found that the woman had done all she 'could to 
keep herself respectable, and that the story she had 
told us on the previous night was, in the main, perfectly 
true. In the end, I believe, we succeeded in being 
of some permanent benefit to her. 



An amusing case at Bristol Strange threat of a butcher Ballantine 
makes a mistake The long retirement of the jury The butcher 
found to be tattered and bleeding A cruel murder The ragged 
wayfarer and the kind-hearted widow She accedes to his prayer 
for a night's lodging He becomes her manager and collects her 
rents A description of the crime The man is acquitted 
He afterwards boasts of his guilt. 

IN 1867, I was engaged in a case out of which some 
amusing incidents arose. A number of persons were 
committed for trial, by the Bristol Bench, for having 
taken part in riots during the recent Parliamentary 
election in the borough. Several London counsel 
were engaged, both on the Conservative and the Liberal 
side, among the number being Serjeant Ballantiue, 
Arthur Collins, Mr. Ribton, and myself. The principal 
defendant was a solicitor named Watkins, who w r as 
charged with being the ringleader of a portion of 
the insurgents. 

Ballantine and myself were engaged upon the 
Conservative side ; a circumstance showing how little 


politics had to do witli the choice of counsel, 

Ballantine being, at that time, an advanced Liberal. 

Serjeant Kinglake, the Recorder of the borough, 

tried the case, and the Court was densely crowded, 

*/ * 

the number of ladies preponderating. 

In consultation, the Conservative agent, who in- 
structed us for the defence, stated that there lived 
in the district a certain butcher of strong Liberal 
sympathies, who had been heard to declare that, 
somehow or another, he would get sworn upon the 
jury and then have a leg cut off rather than acquit 
Watkins. The Conservative agent duly informed us 
of this person's name. 

The hour for the trial to commence arrived, and 
the clerk proceeded to read over the jury list. To 
our disgust, one of the names he called out w r as that 


of the butcher. 

Ballantine was for once caught napping. Starting 
to his feet he cried, " Challenge ! ' 

Of course, in a case of felony, counsel may object 
to a juryman, but this cannot be done in a case of 

The Recorder pointed out the slip that Ballantiue 
had made, and my leader was somewhat disconcerted, 
for he realised that, in challenging the butcher, he 
had probably only intensified that worthy's hostility. 
However, the Serjeant quickly recovered his equanimity, 
and with a smile on his face, said : 

" I really quite forgot ; but no matter. I am sure 


that when I make the statement I am about to make, 
the gentleman to whom I was about to object will 
have too much good feeling to remain and act as 
one of the judges of the case, but will at once retire 
from the box." Ballantine then stated to the Court 
the facts that had been made known to us. Instead, 
however, of the butcher assuming the lamb-like de- 
meanour that my learned friend had apparently antici- 
pated, he sat very tightly in the box, and said : 

" I shan't budsje an inch. I never said what has 


been attributed to me ; and if I had said it, I stand 
upon my rights as an Englishman. I've a right to 
serve on the jury, and on the jury I'll serve." 

I believe the Judge had no power to interfere ; at 
least, if he had, he did not exercise it. He simply 
said : 

" You hear, brother. I must rely, and so must you, 
upon this gentleman's good sense, and the obligation 
that he attaches to an oath." 

The jurymen were then duly sworn, and the case 
proceeded. It lasted for two days. The evidence, 
as usual in such cases, was very conflicting. A number 
of the witnesses for the prosecution identified our client 
as " the man on the white horse," who had led on the 
rioters and incited them to demolish a number of 
buildings in the town, with cries of " Give them Bristol 

O * 

Bridge" the phrase having reference to certain poli- 
tical riots that had taken place in Bristol many years 
before, when a bridge was destroyed, and its bricks 


used as missiles. We called a number of witnesses 
who swore that Watkins was not the man who led 
the rioters, some of them indeed deposing that he was 
in a totally different part of the borough at the time 
the disturbance took place. 

At about six o'clock on the second day, the jury 
retired to consider their verdict. The Court of Bristol 
is a very handsome one, and furnished with many 
conveniences unknown elsewhere. "When a jury are 
unable to agree, they are taken to a room in the upper 
part of the building, which room opens into a little 
gallery in the Court-house. Thus they are able to 
communicate with the bench without coming downstairs. 
Several hours went by, and the jury did not appear. 
At about ten o'clock the Recorder sent a messenger 
to them, asking if they had agreed upon their verdict. 
They came out into the gallery, and stated that they 
had not agreed upon a verdict, and that there seemed 
very little likelihood of their being able to do so. King- 
lake was a very firm man, and he was determined that 
the borough should not be put to the expense of a 
second trial. He therefore informed the jury that 
he should use every means in his power to compel 
them to come to some conclusion, adding : 

" It is, at any rate, my present purpose to keep 
you locked up there for the night. I will return to 
the Court at one in the morning ; and, in the meantime, 
I must ask the counsel on both sides to delegate, at any 
rate, one of their number to be present when I arrive." 


We were all of us very anxious about the result, 
and so we resolved to go back to the hotel on Castle 
Green, dine for we had had nothing to eat since 
luncheon and return in a body at one o'clock. We 
did so, and the jury were again brought into Court, but 
with the same result as before. Upon this, the Recorder 
stated that he proposed to go back to his room in 
Court, and remain there until a verdict was returned. 
Ballantine repaired to the hotel to get some sleep, 
while I, and one of the other juniors, remained on guard 

At about four o'clock, when we were all more asleep 
than awake, the usher was roused from his semi- 
comatose condition, and sent for to the jury-room. 
Presently he returned with the news that the jury had 
agreed upon a verdict. The information was communi- 
cated to the Recorder, who hastily robed, and returned 
to the judgment seat. 

When the names of the jury were read over, only 
eleven answered. The Recorder said : " One juryman 
has not responded." It was our friend the butcher. 
His name was called out a second time, whereupon a 
feeble voice answered : " Here." The Judge, who, I 
have no doubt, guessed pretty accurately what had 
occurred, did not look towards the jury-box. It is per- 
haps as well that he did not. I did, and I never saw 
such an extraordinary-looking object as the butcher. 
His coat and waistcoat were torn from his back ; his 
very shirt-sleeves were tattered ; and his face was 
besmeared with blood. The reader can pretty well 

VOL. I, X 


guess what had happened. There had all along been a 
strong nicajority against the butcher; and the twelve 
men were now unanimous in returning a verdict of 
"Not Guilty." 

It was during that same year that I obtained a 
verdict in the country which I have always regretted. 
It was in a trial for murder which took place on the 
Midland Circuit, I being specially retained to conduct 
the defence. The murder has always seemed to me to 
be the most cruel and heartless one in my experience. 

Some five-ancl- twenty miles from the Assize town, 
where the trial took place, stood a public-house kept by 
a widow. She was a great favourite in the neighbour- 
hood, and was frequently engaged in charitable offices. 
It was well known that she possessed a snug little in- 
come, for, besides the public-house, she owned several 
small cottages in the neighbourhood, having purchased 
them out of her savings. She was a comely, buxom 
woman of about forty years of age. 

One winter's night, as she was sitting in her bar- 
parlour, a tramp a poor, broken-down, wretched-looking 
man appeared in the doorway and besought assistance. 
He said that he was starving, having tasted neither bit 
nor sup for days ; and this tale so worked upon the 
feelings of the good-natured widow, that she gave him 
some meat and beer. It was bitterly cold, and the man, 
when he had finished his meal, implored the additional 
favour of sleeping accommodation for the night. He 
should be only too grateful, he said, for permission to lie 


in the stable, or one of the outhouses. It was not in the 
nature of the good woman to refuse a kindness of this 
description, and she granted the man's request. The 
next morning, she inquired still further into her visitor's 
history and condition, and, being moved by the dis- 
tressing story he told her, she agreed to let him stay on 
as a handy man about the house. 

That there grew to be a more intimate relation 
between the parties cannot be doubted. In time, he 
who had been a wayfarer and an outcast, became the 
manager of the little public-house, in which capacity 
he was, to all appearances, a most respectable man, 
his life being apparently a happy and prosperous one. 
It was part of the manager's duty to go round to 
the cottages and collect the rents for his mistress, 
who herself subsequently banked the money. On 
a certain quarter-day, he took out the horse and cart, 
and started off to pay his customary visit to the 
cottages. They were some distance away, and it was 
not possible for him to return until late at night. 
All the other inmates of the public-house went to bed ; 
but the landlady herself sat up in order to give 
her manager some supper when he returned. 

Next morning the little bar-parlour presented a 
horrible spectacle. The corpse of the widow lay on 
the ground, beside the fireplace, in a pool of blood. 
The head was literally severed from the body. The 
drawers, the cash-box, and the till had been rifled, 
and everything of value that had been in the room 

N 2 


had been stolen. Beneath the woman's body was a 
frying-pan, in which were some half-cooked sausages. 
It was apparent that the poor creature had been 
preparing the man's supper when she had been attacked 
from behind ; and there seemed little doubt that the 
bill-hook found in the yard was the instrument with 
which the murder had been committed. 

Circumstances pointed to the manager as the author 
of the outrage, and he was duly arrested and put upon 
his trial, I being, as already indicated, retained for 
the defence. A quantity of evidence was taken, and 
in the end my client was acquitted. That same night, 
after drinking heavily, he passed down the High 
Street of the town, and, holding out his right hand, 
exclaimed : 

<{ My counsel got me off, but this is the hand that 
did the deed." 

Of course a man cannot be tried twice for the 
same offence, and, to my perpetual regret, this ruffian 
remained at large. 



The Clerkenwell explosion How it originated, and why it failed 
The accused and their counsel A description of the prisoners 
Evidence of the informers A letter in invisible ink Incidents 
subsequent to the explosion Further evidence The warders in 
the witness-box Acquittal of Ann Justice A moving scene- 
Mr. Baker Greene's witnesses Barrett's demeanour The crowd 
in Court Constant attendance of ladies Retirement of the 
jury Excitement inside and outside the Court. 

IN the afternoon of the 13th of December, 1867, the 
Clerkenwell explosion took place. Two men Burke 
and Casey by name were confined in the House of 
Detention on a charge of treason-felony, and a plot was 
formed among the Fenians of London and Manchester 
to liberate them. A barrel of gunpowder was placed 
against the prison wall and exploded. The effects were 
deplorable. Many houses in Corporation Lane were 
shattered, four persons were killed on the spot, and 
about forty others were maimed and otherwise wounded, 
in some cases fatally. A large proportion of the victims 
were women and children, and all were of the poorer 
classes. A wide breach was made in the prison wall, 


but those whom it was intended to rescue did not have 
the opportunity of escaping. The truth is, in this, as 
in so many similar plots, a whisper had gone abroad 
that mischief was brewing, and on the day of the ex- 
plosion Burke and Casey had not been permitted to 
take their exercise in the usual manner. 

Five men and a woman were arrested and tried for 
participation in the outrage. The names of the accused 
were William Desmond, Timothy Desmond, John O'Keefe, 
Nicholas English, Michael Barrett, and Ann Justice. 
They were charged with the wilful murder of Sarah 
Ann Hodgkinson one of those killed by the explosion 
and the trial took place before Lord Chief Justice 
Cockburn, sitting with Mr. Baron Bramwell. The 
counsel for the Crown were the Attorney-General, the 
Solicitor - General, Mr. Hardinge - Giffard, Q.C., Mr. 
Poland, and Mr. Archibald (then Attorney-General's 
" devil," and subsequently a Judge). William Desmond 
was defended by Mr. Warner Sleigh ; Timothy Desmond 
by Mr. Straight ; English by Mr. Keogh ; O'Keefe and 
Ann Justice by myself; and Barrett by Mr. Baker 
Greene. The trial was opened on Monday, April the 
20th, 1868, and it occupied the five following days. 

To judge by the appearance of the prisoners, the 
Fenian movement must have been at a somewhat low 
ebb at that time. With the exception of Barrett, the 
accused seemed to be in a state of extreme povert}*. 
That there was not much money behind them may be 
inferred from the list I have given of the counsel 


employed on their behalf. Nearly all were very junior 
members of the bar, and they stood in marked contrast 
with the brilliant array of talent on the other side. 

The two Desmonds and English were, I think, 
tailors. They were very poorly clad, and miserable 
creatures to look upon. O'Keefe was of a somewhat 
better type. The woman, Ann Justice, who appeared 
to be from forty to forty-five years of age, was poorly 
dressed and plain-looking. 

On looking at the dock, one's attention was princi- 
pally attracted by the appearance of Barrett, for whom 
I must confess I subsequently felt great commiseration. 
He was a square-built fellow, scarcely five feet eight 
in height, and dressed something like a well-to-do 
farmer. The resemblance was certainly increased by 
the frank, open expression of his face. A less murderous 
countenance than Barrett's, indeed, I do not remember 
to have seen. Good-humour was latent in every feature. 
He took the greatest interest in the proceedings. 

The principal witnesses against the prisoners were 
accomplices. After the surveyor had sworn to the 
correctness of the plans, and the doctor had given 
evidence as to the injuries sustained by the deceased, 
the informers were at once put into the box. The 
first was a man named Patrick Mullany, who described 
himself as a military tailor. Tailor yes ; but any one 
less military I never saw. In fact, both he and his 
fellow a man named James Vaughan were half- 
starved looking creatures, and well qualified, so far 


as appearance went, to fill the role of the Apothecary in 
Romeo and Juliet. Th.3 only time I saw Barrett's face 
change was during the examination of the informers ; 
and the look of disgust, scorn, and hatred that he 
turned upon those two miserable creatures was a thing 
to be remembered. 

The substance of the evidence given by Mullany 
and Vaughan may be briefly stated. 

They deposed that, fifteen or sixteen months previous 
to the explosion, they had been sworn in as members of 
the Fenian Brotherhood an organisation having for its 

d/ ^^ 

object the overthrow of English rule in Ireland, and 
the establishment there of a Republic. Mullany de- 
clared that he had been sworn in as a centre, and that 
the prisoner, Nicholas English, was present at the time, 
and introduced him to a man named James Kelly. 
Each centre, the witness said, had nine " B's " under 
him, and each " B " commanded nine men. During the 
ceremony of swearing-in, the conversation principally 
turned on the way men were to be conveyed to Ireland, 
and the best method of raising money to purchase arms, 
and to send men into the volunteers. 

The witness went on to say that he knew William 
Desmond, Timothy Desmond, and O'Keefe, having met 
them in a public - house at the corner of Seymour 
Street, Pulteney Street. He had also, he said, known 
Burke one of the men whose escape had been planned 
since the April of 1867. Soon after the arrest of 
Burke, who was a Eenian and an American officer, the 


witness saw Barrett at his own house, in company with 
a man named Captain Murphy, who had taken a leading 
part in the Fenian movement. Barrett, who passed by 
the name of Jackson, remarked that he had eight 
revolvers in his bag, and that he had come over " to 
do something for poor Burke," and, as he spoke, he 
opened his bag and exposed to view some revolvers 
and ammunition. A conversation took place so the 
witness said as to where a barrel of gunpowder could 
be procured, and as to the best way of getting Burke 
out of the House of Detention. Mullany went on to 
speak about a letter that had been produced at William 
Desmond's house, and which, so far as he could re- 
member, ran as follows : " Dear Friend, You know 
my position here. You know how I am situated here. 
There is a house here called the ' Noted Stout House ' 
(it was explained that this was the name of a public- 
house), " and at that house there is a sewer and a weak 
part of the wall. If you get a barrel of gunpowder 
and place it there, you will be able to blow the wall 
to hel]. Get the men to buy it in small quantities. 
The job must be done, and done at 3.30 or 4 o'clock. 
If you do not do this, you ought to be shot." 

Touching this letter, the witness said that it had 

O * 

been destroyed, and that it had been written in in- 
visible ink. Some water had been procured in a 
teacup, and by the aid of this and some copperas, 
writino- of a brown and burnt-like condition had been 


revealed. There were, Mullany declared, three phrases 


in the letter underlined : " the ' Noted Stout House,' ' 
" a sewer," and " weak part of the wall." He said 
that when the letter was produced, English, Murphy, 
William Desmond, and twelve or fifteen others were 
present. The letter having been inspected, a question/ 
it appears, arose as to how the money should be ob- 
tained for the purchase of the gunpowder, and some 
men offered to contribute 1, some 12s., and some 
10s. for the purpose. 

" At this time," said Mullany, " I was out of 
work, owing to the tailors' strike." He went on to 
describe a number of meetings which all the prisoners 
attended, and at which the contemplated explosion 
was discussed. Subsequently he learnt from Murphy 
that the gunpowder had been procured. The question 
of how a truck could be obtained for carrying it was 
next discussed, and the following arrangements were 
ultimately made : A meeting was to be held at twelve 
o'clock, on the 13th of December, at the Desmonds' 
house ; the conspirators were to go thence, in two 
companies, to the scene of operations ; a man named 
Felix was to supply a tundish, or funnel, for carrying 
the fuse ; all were to meet at the House of Detention 
at half-past three o'clock. Mullany added presumably 
to save his neck that he himself was not actually 
present when the explosion took place. As lie 
said this, a smile, which was not wholly amiable, broke 
out on the face of Barrett, and I think that if the 
prisoner could have got at the witness at that moment 


the latter would have fared badly. The explosion was 
originally intended to take place on the 12th; but 
it was found advisable to postpone it until the follow- 
ing day. 

The concluding portion of Mullany's evidence had 
reference to events that took place after the outrage. 
He said that on the evening of the 13th, he saw 
Barrett at the corner of Glasshouse Street. Up to 
that time Barrett had worn whiskers and beard joined ; 
but now his whiskers were gone. Mullany continued : 
"I chaffed him about his whiskers being off, and he 
said, ' Don't speak so loud ; it was I who fired the 
barrel.' I then asked who was with him at the time, 
and he said that Murphy was with him, and that 
he had taken off his whiskers for fear of identification." 
Mullany added that he did not see Barrett again 
until he saw him before Sir Thomas Henry at Bow 
Street Police Court. The witness next said that he 
himself had been arrested on the Thursday after the 
explosion, on the charge of treason-felony, and that 
he had then determined to turn Queen's evidence, and 
to give his testimony against the accused. 

Mullany was subjected to a long cross-examination 
by the counsel for the Desmonds, Barrett, and English, 
and, when asked if he expected to get punished him- 
self, answered : " I don't know ; I am the property 
of the English Crown," a remark that seemed to amuse 
Barrett hugely. He added that he had informed to 
save himself for the sake of his family. 


Vaughan's evidence was to pretty much the same 
effect as Mullany's. He, however, gave a few addi- 
tional particulars. He said that after the explosion 
he had a conversation with English, who said : '' For 
God's sake, James, get as much money as you can, 
as we want to send them away." He replied : " Send 
who away?" and English said: "Why, those who 
have blown up the House of Detention." They were 
standing outside a newsvendor's shop at which a 
newspaper bill was exposed, with the line "Diabolical 
Outrage" upon it. English said: "Yes, it was dia- 
bolical, and we will burn the whole of London yet, 
and that will be more diabolical." Vaughan also gave 
some important evidence against O'Keefe. 

Cross-examined by me, the witness admitted that 
he had been in the army, and that, after being tried 
by court-martial, he had been reduced to the ranks 
from the position of corporal. He further admitted 
that, since he had turned Queen's evidence, he had 
been receiving payment from the police ; that he had 
no other means of subsistence ; that he had determined 
to turn Queen's evidence on seeing a placard offering 
a reward to any one who would give information ; 
that he put himself in communication with the 
authorities three hours after reading the placard ; and 
that he expected to get a portion of the reward if the 
men were convicted. 

Several other witnesses were called, who deposed 
to seeing the various prisoners at different times, prior 


to the explosion, in the immediate neighbourhood of 
the House of Detention, the bulk of the evidence 
being directed against Barrett. 

One of the witnesses positively swore that he saw 
Timothy Desmond, in company with O'Keefe, wheel 
the truck carrying the barrel of powder to the prison 
wall, on the day of the explosion. 

The prison-warders were among those who gave evi- 
dence. They deposed that upon the day of the outrage, 
all the prisoners were taken out to exercise at a quarter 
to three. The prisoners formed themselves into two 
rings, and Burke occupied a position on the outer ring. 

A warder named Maskell said that he saw Burke 
fall out of the ranks near the wall, take off one of 
his side-spring boots, wipe his foot with his stocking 
(looking up as he did so at a house in Corporation 
Lane), then put on his boot again and rejoin the 
others. All this, the warder added, was done very 
slowly, and shortly afterwards the explosion took place. 
Evidence was also given that at noon on the 13th, 
Ann Justice came to see Casey at the House of 
Detention, stating that she was his aunt. She was 
accompanied by a Mrs. Barry, who represented herself 
as Casey's sister. They left between one and two 
o'clock. At ten minutes to three that afternoon, Ann 
Justice was seen with Timothy Desmond close to 
the prison wall. Immediately after the explosion she 
was again seen in company with Timothy Desmond 
running away from the scene of the outrage. 


An important piece of evidence was given by 
another warder. He said that he was in the prison- 
yard shortly before the explosion, and saw an india- 
rubber ball corne over the wall. It was proved that, 
shortly before the explosion, the prisoner Burke was 
searched, with the result that a glass tube and ball 
were found in his possession. The ball held a liquid 
which, on being analysed by Dr. AVilliam Odling, the 
celebrated chemist, was found to contain crystals 
which, when dissolved in water, possessed the quality 
of making impressions that would remain invisible 
until copperas, or one of several other chemicals, was 
applied to it. 

A number of witnesses were called to corroborate the 
evidence of the informer. They deposed to seeing, on 
various occasions, Mullany and Vaughan in company 
with the various male prisoners. In order to prove that 
Burke was a Fenian, a third informer, with the pastoral 
name of John Joseph Corridon, was put into the box. 
He described himself as having been an officer in the 
Federal army of the United States. Burke, he said, 
had also been in the American army, under the name of 
"Winslow, and they had been well acquainted. Burke 
had been a Captain in the 15th New York Engineers. 
The witness swore that Burke was a Fenian. 

The visitor's book of the prison was produced, and 
from this it was seen that, as alleged, Ann Justice had 
been among those who had visited Casey. 

This closed the case for the prosecution. I sub- 


mitted to the Court, on behalf of Aim Justice, that 
there was no case to go to the jury, whatever suspicions 
might exist as to her knowledge of the Fenian con- 
federacy, and of her having been a member thereof. 
There was, I pointed out, no actual evidence that she 
took part in the proceedings which caused the death of 
Ann Hodgkinson. 

After a consultation with Baron Bramwell, lasting 
some eight or ten minutes, the Chief Justice replied that 
their lordships could not say that there was no evidence 
against the woman, but they held that the evidence 
against her was slight. Upon this the Attorney- General 
conferred with the counsel associated with him, and then 
said that, after his lordship's observations, he and his 
learned friends had determined to withdraw the case as 
against Ann Justice, and were willing that, so far as she 

o * o 

was concerned, a verdict of acquittal should be taken at 
once. Under the direction of the Court, the jury then 
returned a verdict of "Not Guilty' as against Ann 
Justice ; and here occurred a very touching incident. The 
female warder signified to her that she might go. Ann 
Justice rose to leave the dock ; but before she went down 
the stairs leading to Newgate (for all prisoners, on being 
acquitted, had to go back to the goal to be formally 
discharged), she turned round to where Barrett was 
sitting, seized him by the hand, and, with two large 
tears rolling down her cheeks, kissed him gently on the 
forehead. Then she hurried away. This was not a very 
judicious proceeding, perhaps but how like a woman ! 


The counsel for the other prisoners next addressed 
the Court. 

Mr. Baker Greene on behalf of Barrett, intimated 
that after his opening speech for the prisoner, he 
intended calling witnesses for the defence. As a 
matter of fact, it makes little difference what procedure 
is adopted, for the Attorney-General, or any other 
officer of the Crown, when conducting a prosecution, 
has, by virtue of his position, the right to reply. The 
speeches over, Mr. Greene proceeded to call his witnesses. 
They were Irishmen, and their evidence, which was of a 
very weak character, was intended to show that Barrett 
was not in the neighbourhood of the House of Detention 
when the explosion took place. On being cross-exa- 
mined by the Attorney-General, each of these witnesses 
cut a very sorry figure. 

During the whole of the trial, save when the 
approvers were in the box, the countenance of Barrett 
never changed. From the time that he entered the 
dock, to the hour for adjournment which did not come 
on until late in the evening he maintained the same 
cheery demeanour. Occasionally he handed pieces of 
paper to his counsel. 

On Monday, 27th of April, the Attorney-General 
rose to reply, and he did not conclude his speech 
until three o'clock in the afternoon. The Lord Chief 
Justice, in his usual exhaustive style, then summed 
up the case to the jury. 

I may mention that never, before or since, have 


I seen a Court of Justice so crowded as during this 


trial. The audience consisted for the most part of 
ladies. They came into Court as early as nine o'clock 
in the morning, and stayed until late in the evening, 
occupying their seats every day of the trial. I am 
bound to say that their interest principally centred 
upon Barrett. 

When the jury retired to consider their verdict, 
the greatest excitement prevailed. For hours past, the 
only sound that had been heard was the voice of 
the Judge ; now every tongue seemed to be loosened, 
and a babel arose. The large Court was crowded to 
suffocation. Even the passages leading into it were 
completely blocked with people, and, above the uproar 
of voices, one could plainly hear the distant hum that 
arose from the great crowd assembled outside Newgate, 
eager to learn the verdict. 

VOL. I. 



Keturn of the jury -An exciting moment Barrett found guilty 
The Judge's interrogation Barrett replies, but is interrupted 
by his lordship The prisoner receives permission to address 
the Court -Text of his speech Some eloquent passages His 
analysis of the evidence Mullany, the "Prince of Perjurers" 
Manly references to his impending doom -A. moving peroration 
The effect produced upon his hearers : not a dry eye in Court 
The leading article in The Daily Telegraph The issue pro- 
nounced unsatisfactory. 

THE jury returned into Court after a long delibera- 
tion. The foreman, who led the way, was deadly 
pale. Having regard to the agitated condition of all 
the jurymen, it was clear that either one or more of 
the prisoners had been convicted. The names of the 
jurors were called over by Mr. Avory, the Clerk of 
Arraigns, amid a breathless silence ; and upon the fore- 
man beino; asked whether a verdict had been agreed 

O O 

upon, he answered in a low voice : " Yes." " Do you 
find William Desmond guilty of the wilful murder of 
Ann Hodffkinson ? " the Clerk asked : and the answer 


was : "Not Guilty." "Do you find Timothy Desmond 

"GUILTY!" 195 

guilty of the same murder ? " " Not Guilty." "Do you 
find John O'Keefe guilty of the said murder?" "Not 
Guilty." "Do you find Nicholas English guilty?" 
" Not Guilty." " Do you find Michael Barrett guilty ? " 
Here all in Court seemed to hold their breath to hear 
the foreman's reply. In an almost inaudible voice, he 
answered : " Guilty." 

The Lord Chief Justice communicated for a moment 
with the Clerk of Arraigns, who went through the usual 
formula. Then the other prisoners were removed, and 
the Clerk, addressing the sole occupant of the dock, 
said : " Michael Barrett, you have been found guilty 
of the wilful murder of Ann Hodgkinson. Have you 
anything to say why sentence of death should not 
be passed upon you in due form ? ;: 

The prisoner, who was standing with his hands in 
front of the dock (and most remarkable hands they 
were, beautifully rounded, and almost like a woman's), 
said : " Yes, my lord, I should like to say a few 
words before your lordship passes sentence upon me, 
and I hope you will allow me to avail myself of this 
opportunity to do so." He then commenced to expatiate 
upon what he considered his country's wrongs, w T hen 
the Lord Chief Justice interrupted him, remarking that 
that was not the time for any such observations. 
" Nevertheless," his lordship added, " I should be sorry 
to prevent you from saying anything you may desire 
to. What is it you wish to say ? ' 

The prisoner then delivered a very masterly speech, 

o 2 


and one that made a profound impression on those 
present. I cannot refrain from quoting fully its more 
important passages. He said : 

" In answer to the question that was put to me, 
I have a great deal to say why sentence should not 
be passed upon me. Nevertheless, I do not intend oc- 
cupying your lordship's time with anything I may have 
to say now, being fully conscious that no words of mine 
would in any way alter your lordship's mind on this 
matter. But I cannot allow this opportunity to pass 
without making a few remarks, as it is likely to be 
the only one I shall have on this side of the grave, 
to endeavour at least to place myself as I should like to 
stand before my fellow-men. In doing so, however, 
I shall be compelled to expose the means that have 
been resorted to in order to secure my conviction. 
I am not going to whine for mercy ; yet, as a humble 
individual, will I address your lordship, and as one whose 
character has been ruthlessly and mercilessly assailed, 
and whose determination is to defend it against all odds 
so long as I have sufficient life left to enable me to 
do so. Conscious I am of never having wilfully, 
maliciously, and intentionally, as I am charged, in- 
jured a human being, that I am aware of no, not 
even in character. True, I stand charged with the 
most repulsive of crimes that of murder ; yet, when 
we come to examine the nature of the evidence on 
which I stand convicted, it will be found that there 
are no two witnesses who have not more or less nay, 


directly contradicted eacli other. If we place any 
reliance on the statements of those who profess to 
be eye-witnesses of the deed, they all agree in de- 
scribing the man who fired the barrel as a tall man, 
evidently five feet ten inches, or more, in height. 
Consider the impossibility of mistaking a person of 
my humble appearance five feet, six inches, or so, high; 
and, taking these things into consideration, apart from 
the testimony the incontestable testimony which has 
been advanced in this Court, that I was not present 
at that time, I express it as my most firm conviction 
that there is not an unprejudiced man here if it 
is possible that such a man can be found here who 
can honestly believe me guilty. It is my conscientious 
conviction that the jury, who have so far descended 
to meet the requirements of the prosecution, do not, 
in their hearts, believe me a murderer. I will now, 
my lord, with your permission, endeavour, so far as 
my humble abilities will allow me, to review a little 
of the evidence that has been brought against me. 
It would be utterly presumptuous, and most unpar- 
donable in me, to attempt to deal with the whole 
of the evidence for the prosecution, after the masterly 
manner in which my very learned counsel analysed 
that evidence last Friday ; but, notwithstanding that, 
owing to some remarks of the Attorney-General in 
summing-up, and of your lordship when you charged 
the jury, I am compelled to revert to that evidence 
again. I will first speak of my arrest in Scotland, 


and of the way in which I was subsequently smuggled 
to London. When first arrested in Glasgow on the 
charge of firing a pistol off on the public green of that 
place, I was taken to the station, searched, and nothing 
was found upon me which even the police of Glasgow 
could twist into a charge against me. Having so failed, 
I was set at liberty ; but before that I gave them 
my name and address, which, I think you will agree 
with me, it is highly improbable I should have done 
had I been apprehensive of being arrested on a charge 
of murder. After that they came to my lodgings, 
and arrested me, giving as a reason that they had found 
the pistol of mine, three shots of which I had fired 
on Glasgow Green. I was brought up on two suc- 
ceeding days at the Police Court for the purpose of 
examination, without its being proved after the police 
taking nine days to inquire that a single syllable 
I had uttered was untrue. Everything I said they 
found to be correct, and every single reference I had 
given them to be true. But then they discovered that 
I was just recovering from a long illness, with means 
exhausted, and without friends, so that if they got 
me out of Scotland, I was completely in their power, 
and utterly incapable of the slightest resistance ; and, 
consequently, I was hurried off to London without the 
slightest possible pretence for doing so, and without 
attempting to inquire into my case in a place where 
I could at once, and without the slightest possibility 
of doubt, have proved my innocence. I don't now 


allude to the liigli authorities of Glasgow, but mean, 
little, petty, truckling officials, who are to be found 
in all police stations, who will have recourse to the 
most heinous acts of injustice for the purpose of 
advancing their own individual interests, and even 
to gain the smile of a superior. I have no doubt 
they are now congratulating themselves upon the 
success of their scheme." 

Proceeding to refer to the evidence of one of the 


witnesses, a boy named Wheeler, the accused said : 

" He failed to identify me until a wretch, wearing 
the uniform of an officer, brought the boy back and 
held him by the shoulder until he was compelled to 
admit that he knew me." 

He then went on to comment on the evidence of 
another witness, whose name was Bud, and to analyse, 
not without some skill, the evidence given on behalf 
of the Crown. Kegarding that evidence, he said : 

"Here, standing as it were looking into my grave, 
I most solemnly declare that at the time these people 

sware I was in London at these different places " 

Here he broke off, and seemed to be engaged in 
earnest thought. 

The Lord Chief Justice remarked : 
" Is there anything more you wish to say?" 
Barrett pulled himself together at once, and pro- 
ceeded : 

" I now come to the evidence of that Prince of 
Perjurers, Mullany, and his satellites;" whereupon the 


convict analysed Mullany's evidence, contrasting it 
with that of two other witnesses, named Morris and 
Keppel. He next dwelt upon what he described 
as discrepancies between the evidence of the boy Morris 
and Mrs. Keppel, as to his being at Mullany's house, 
contending that if the jury were satisfied to accept 
the statement as corroborative evidence, they would 
find few persons to take the same view. How was 
it, he would ask, that Mrs. Mullany had not been 
called to establish the identity between himself and 
the man known as Jackson ? There was no doubt 
that the Crown would have brought her forward if her 
statement could have supported their theory. There was 
one thing that the Attorney-General, with all his inge- 
nuity, had found it difficult to account for. Mullany had 
stated that he (the speaker) and Murphy had come from 
Glasgow with the avowed intention of rescuing Burke 
from prison, whereas Mrs. Keppel had sworn that he 
(the speaker) had been in the habit of visiting Mullany's 
house for six weeks before the explosion. Burke had 
only been arrested three weeks before, so there was 
an obvious discrepancy. Indeed that was a sample of 
what all the evidence was worth, when it came to 
be sifted, and yet the Attorney-General saw in it 
corroborative testimony, sufficient to send a human 
being to the scaffold. With reference to that " fiend of 


iniquity, Mullany," he would " pass him over with 
as few words as possible, as though by the very mention 
of his name," he should " inhale the most deadly poison. 


I will," added the speaker, " allow him to remain in 
his misery and wretchedness without further reference." 

The prisoner then went on to say : 

" And now, my lord, with reference to the Clerken- 
well explosion, I will just say a few words. It is, 
I know, useless for me, nor do I intend to enter upon 
any protestations of innocence, being fully conscious 
that no declarations of mine will have the slightest 
tendency to prevent your lordship from taking the 
course that you have already determined to pursue ; 
but this I will, and can most solemnly declare, that 
there is no one who more deeply commiserates the 
sufferers from that explosion, and no one who more 
earnestly deplores the fatal consequences of that oc- 
currence than I do. No, I am not one who can rejoice 
over the miseries and sufferings of my fellow-creatures, 
the statements of Mullany to the contrary notwith- 
standing. Him, even him, I can forgive, and pray 
that his sufferings may not be so great as he deserves. 
I also wish to correct a statement which has been made 
here an inference, at least, which has been made, 
and which I think has been more or less believed 
that I am the author of the explosion. I can honestly 
declare that never has a greater mistake been made ; 
indeed, there is no one, unless their reason is com- 
pletely clouded by their prejudices, who could for 
one moment entertain such an idea. To give me 
credit for such an undertaking is utterly absurd ; being, 
as I am, a total stranger to acts of daring, and without 


any experience which would in any way fit me for 
engaging in such an enterprise. Is it not ridiculous 
to suppose that in the City of London, where, according 
to Sir Eichard Mayne, and The Pall Mall Gazette, 
there are ten thousand armed Fenians, they would 
have sent to Glasgow for a party to do this 
work, and then select a person of no higher standing 
and no greater abilities than the humble individual 
who now stands convicted before you ? To suppose 
such a thing is a stretch of imagination that the dis- 
ordered minds of the frightened officials of this 
country could alone be capable of entertaining. It 
is asked why I did not bring up the master of the 
lodging-house, or those with whom I was employed. 
I, at the time, communicated to the police the infor- 
mation that I was at the time out of employment, but 
I did give them my address, and I gave them the name 
of the man with whom I had worked for years ; but 
they carefully avoided publishing the result of their 
inquiries. It is asked why did I not bring these 
forward at the Police Court ? I instructed my solicitor 
in all these facts, and therefore the matter does not 
rest with me." 

The prisoner then went on to say that he was far 
from denying, and force of circumstances would never 
compel him to deny, his love for his native land. He 
loved his country, and he would candidly and proudly 
own it. "If," he continued, "it is murder to love 
Ireland more dearly than life, then indeed I am a 


murderer. If I could in any way remove the miseries 
or redress the grievances of that land bv the sacrifice of 

O * 

rny own life I would willingly, nay, gladly, do so. If it 
should please the God of Justice to turn to some 
account, for the benefit of my suffering country, the 
sacrifice of my poor, worthless life, I could, by the 
grace of God, ascend the scaffold with firmness, 
strengthened by the consoling reflection that the stain 
of murder did not rest upon me, and mingling my 
prayers for the salvation of my immortal soul with 
those for the regeneration of my native land." 

This brought Barrett's speech to a close, and the 
sentence of death was then passed with the usual 

During the delivery of the speech I think I can 
safely say that there was not a dry eye in the Court. 
The sobs of the ladies were distinctly audible. Two or 
three of them fainted, and had to be carried out of 
Court. Even the oldest of the barristers and the Chief 
Justice himself betrayed considerable emotion while 
Barrett was speaking. 

I cannot refrain from making some quotations from 
a leading article that appeared in The Daily Telegraph 
on the following morning : 

" Interesting in one respect, the issue of the trial is 
strangely unsatisfactory. While the police charged six 
persons with the crime, they have afforded proof 
sufficient to convict only one. The case against O'Keefe 
and Ann Justice utterly broke down, and, when sifted, 


that against the Desmonds and English was seen 
to be far from complete. The police have manifestly 
failed in some way. Barrett must have had accomplices, 
either in the persons arraigned along with himself, or in 

others who are still at liberty AVe do not wish 

to bear hardly on the police, who have had to perform 
an intensely perplexing task, and, in many respects, 
have performed it well. But it is difficult to avoid the 
conclusion that they have fallen into their old blunder 
of sticking too closely to one line of search ; that they 
have been content to follow the clue which they at first 
obtained, and that they have allowed the real culprits 
to escape. The Cannon Street murderer is still at 
liberty ; so is the person who shot the bandsman, 
M'Donnell ; and now we have a nest of murderers 
defying our search. It is impossible for the public 
to regard such repeated failures of justice without 
grave disquiet. Fortunately the prime author of the 
Clerkeuwell explosion the man who set fire to the 
barrel has not escaped. Barrett has been found guilty 
and sentenced to death ; nor could the jury have 
returned other than a fatal verdict. The proofs .... 
were too many, too strong, and too direct to be set 

The concluding passages of the article were as 
follows : 

" Barrett is to die ; and he will die justly, since the 
evidence that he committed an infamous crime is com- 
plete ; and his fate is all the more deserved because he 


is evidently a man of high intelligence. Before re- 
ceivino- the sentence, he delivered a most remarkable 
speech, criticising with great acuteness the evidence 
against him, protesting that he had been condemned on 
insufficient grounds, and eloquently asserting his inno- 
cence. Such an address, of course, cannot shake the 
conviction that he is guilty, but it excites regret that a 
man of mental power should have become the instru- 
ment of assassins, and should have to expiate on the 
scaffold the guilt of an infamous crime." 

In reference to the opening passages in that article, 
I cannot help remarking that it is a curious coincidence 
that the same fault is being found with the police of 
to-day as was found with the police of 1868. Thus it 
may be inferred by some that since 1868 the force has 
not deteriorated ; but this opinion I, for one, cannot 
endorse. In my judgment the force has deteriorated 
considerably. I am not now speaking about its disci- 
pline, and its capacity for keeping the streets, but 
about its ability to detect crime. At the time of the 
Clerkenwell explosion we had a regular detective force 
-that is to say, a separate organisation for unravelling 
the mysteries and complications of crime but that 
force we never hear of now. 



Another Fenian trial The indictment Evidence of informers- 
Details of a ludicrous plot : Chester Castle to be seized -Kesult 
of the trial A shrewd Jewish solicitor He sends me a "dead" 
case The value of bristles Conclusive evidence How the 
police found the stolen property Our consultation Unaccount- 
able merriment of the solicitor " Not a leg to stand on. Ha ! 
ha ! ha ! " The thirteenth juryman He makes a sad statement, 
and is allowed to serve An unexpected occurrence : the jury 
ask to retire Hours pass, and no verdict is returned An 
extraordinary denoument It is explained. 

Ox Tuesday, April 28th, George Berry (alias Richard 
Burke, alias AVinslow), Joseph Theobald Casey, and 
Henry Shaw, were indicted for that they, together with 
divers other persons unknown, did feloniously compass, 
devise, and intend to depose our Lady the Queen from 
the style, honour, and royal name of the Imperial 
Crown of the United Kingdom ; and that they did 
manifest such intent by certain overt , acts, set out in 
the indictment. In other counts, the overt acts were 
said to have taken place in Ireland and in the county 
of Warwick. 


The case bad been removed from that county, 
where in due course it would have been tried in the 
capital town, under the provisions of the 19th and 20th 

The trial took place in the Court where Barrett had 
been sentenced on the previous day. The same counsel 
as before represented the Crown, while Mr. Ernest 
Jones, the celebrated Chartist leader, appeared for Burke, 
Mr. F. H. Lewis for Casey, and Mr. Pater for Shaw. 
The Judges were Mr. Baron Bramwell and Mr. Justice 



The reason why the actual venue of the case was 
Warwick was because it was alleged on the part of the 
Crown that the prisoners were members of the Fenian 
Confederation, and that, in pursuance of certain plots 
and plans, they had proceeded to Birmingham to 
purchase arms and ammunition to distribute among 
the Fenian brotherhood in England and Ireland, and 
to procure gunpowder and other destructive materials 
for the purpose of destroying public buildings, and, by 
other means and devices, to overthrow the Government 
of Her Majesty the Queen. 

I was not engaged in this case ; but I must briefly 
refer to it, as it was for attempting to secure the release 
of Casey and Burke, that Barrett was condemned to 

The principal witnesses who testified to the accused 
being Fenians were two informers Corridon, and a 
man named Godfrey Massey. Corridon stated that he 


himself became a Fenian in 1862, v;hen he took an 
oath to overthrow the British Government, and to 
establish a Republic in its stead. He remained a 
member of the Federation until 1866, and, in the 
interval, attended several Fenian meetings. At one of 
them, held in Douane Street, he saw Burke. A man 
named O'Mahony, who was at the head of the Fenian 
organisation in America, attended the meeting, and none 
but leading members were present. The witness went on 
to say that, in 1865, after that meeting, it was resolved, 
in Burke's presence, that certain military men should be 
sent over to Ireland to command the people of that 
country in the event of a rising. The witness subse- 
quently went himself over to Ireland, where he met 
Colonel Thomas Kelly and Stevens, the heads of the 
movement in Dublin, and was afterwards sent to 
Liverpool in the capacity of paymaster of the organisa- 
tion. At certain Fenian meetings, held at Liverpool in 
1866, and at which Burke was present, a plot was 
formed for an attack on Chester Castle. It was arranged 
that Burke and Shaw should buy the firearms, and that 
men should go to Chester from Liverpool, Manchester, 
Leeds, and other large towns, acting under the orders 
of their various centres. In all, some 2,500 men 
were, it was decided, to take part in the work. 
Chester Castle was a great depot for the storage of 
arms ; and it was arranged that, after the building- 
had been captured, these arms were to be taken out and 
conveyed to the mail-train, which was to be seized for 


the purpose. The telegraph-wires were to be destroyed, 
the mail-train was to proceed to Holy head, and the 
railway lines were afterwards to be torn up. On the 
arrival of the train at Holyhead, the mail-boat was to 
be seized and the arms taken on board, the captain 
being retained to take the vessel to the Irish coast. 
The night of the llth of February was fixed for the 
attack on the Castle. The witness explained that he 
informed the Government of these plans in the 
September of the preceding year. 

Massey corroborated the statements of the previous 
witness ; and several persons from Birmingham testified 
to the purchase of arms, ammunition, etc., by the 
prisoners. It appeared that these arms and ammunition 
were bought in small quantities, but to a large extent. 

After a somewhat protracted trial, Casey was ac- 
quitted, but Burke and Shaw were found guilty, the 
former being sentenced to fifteen, and the latter to 
seven years' penal servitude. 

At somewhere about this period, I numbered among 
my clients one of the shrewdest men I ever met in my 
life. He was a solicitor in large criminal practice, who was 
known, feared, and trusted by all the thieves, burglars, 
and receivers especially by the last-named in this 
great metropolis. A member of the Jewish community, 
he was an old man of remarkably sharp appearance, 
and of diminutive stature. One Saturday preceding 
the opening of the Sessions of the Central Criminal 
Court, I was sitting in my chambers, when a brief was 

VOL. I. P 


handed to me from the office of the gentleman alluded 


to, a message accompanying it to the effect that he 
would meet me for consultation, at five o'clock, at the 
chambers of Mr. Montagu Chambers, in Child's Place. 
I read my instructions, and found that the case was 
as dead a one as could well be imagined. One Solomon 
Isaacs was charged with receiving a quantity of stolen 
property, including several cartloads of bristles. Until 
that moment I did not know how high is the commercial 
value of bristles. They command a very considerable 

The man had been suspected by the police for some 
time. Vans of stolen o-oods had been on several 


occasions traced to the immediate neighbourhood of 
his house, and then, somehow or another, mysteriously 
lost sight of. 

It was the old story over again. One of the thieves 
gave information against the receiver. A cordon of 
police was drawn round Solomon Isaacs' house, and 
Sergeant Ham and another officer entered it. On 
searching the building itself, the police found nothing. 
However, at the other end of the garden, across a lane, 
and apparently in no way connected with the house 
itself, were some out-houses. As a result of certain 
information received, the police made it their business 
to search these out-houses. They proved to be crammed 
with a marvellous assortment of articles, including pier- 
glasses and carpet-brooms. No bristles, however, were 
found in the heterogeneous collection. The police knew 


very well that they could rely upon the truthful- 
ness, or rather upon the treachery, of their informant; 
and a further search was made about the premises. 
Presently the sharp eye of Ham noticed that some of the 
earth in the garden had been recently turned. Spades 
and shovels were procured, and the officer commenced 
to dig, with the result that, five or six inches from the 
surface of the ground, he discovered the stolen bristles. 
When taken into custody, Solomon Isaacs endeavoured 
to escape. He also made a variety of conflicting state- 
ments. Thus it was apparent that the case against him 
was a dead one. 

The meeting took place at the appointed hour at 
my leader's chambers, and on this occasion my little 
Jewish client was in more excellent spirits than I 
had ever seen him before. The more my leader and 
I expressed an opinion adverse to his case, the more 
delighted he seemed to be. Upon my leader declaring 
that we had not a leg to stand on, the little fellow 
was seized with an uncontrollable fit of merriment. 

The meeting over, my client accompanied me back 
to my chambers in King's Bench. Walk. As we shook 
hands on parting, he exclaimed : 

" Not a leer to stand on, eh ? Ha ! ha ! ha ! We 


shall . see about that ! Be early in Court, my boy ; 
the early bird, you know. Nil desperandum is my 
motto. Not a leg to stand on ! Ha ! ha ! " and, 
leaving me speechless with astonishment, he vanished 

in the darkness with an unearthly kind of chuckle. 

p 2 


On the morning of the trial, acting on my in- 
structions, I made my appearance in Court five or ten 
minutes before the business of the day commenced, 
and there, seated at the solicitors' table, I found my 
little friend attentively reading the columns of The 
Daily News. I observed, though the circumstance did 
not particularly engage my attention at the moment, 
that there was a solitary juryman in the box, who 
was also occupied with one of the morning papers. 

In due time the Recorder, Mr. Russell Gurney, came 
into Court, whereupon the Clerk of Arraigns, as is cus- 
tomary, read over the names of the jurymen. To the 
astonishment of everybody there were thirteen in the box ! 

Upon the matter being investigated, the man whom 
I had noticed on entering the Court, rose and addressed 
the Bench. 

I should explain that this individual was the most 
melancholy-looking man I have ever seen. He was 
dressed entirely in black, and looked the very picture 
of misery. 

" My lord," he said, " I am afraid that I am the 
cause of this confusion. I am in the list of jurymen 
for to-morrow ; but I have had a great misfortune 
happen to me. I have lost my wife." 

The Recorder, who was one of the kindest-hearted 
men in the world, said he was sorry that the juryman 
should, under the circumstances, have thought it 
necessary to be present, and offered at once to release 
him from any further attendance during the session. 

" Thank yon, my lord," said the melancholy-looking 


individual, " but I would rather serve to-day, if you 
will allow me. I think the business of the Court will 
distract my attention, and help me for the time being 
to forget my loss. Perhaps one of the other gentlemen 
will leave the box now, and will serve for me 
to-morrow, when I have to attend the funeral." 

The request was granted, and a gentleman stepped 
from the box. The jury was then sworn. I noticed 
that when it came to the turn of the melancholy-looking 
man to take the oath, he did so with his hat on, being 
sworn on the Old Testament. The prisoner pleaded 
" Not Guilty," and the trial commenced. 

The evidence that was brought forward bore even 
more heavily upon the accused than I had anticipated. 
My leader, in addressing the jury, did the best he could 
under the circumstances, but entirely failed to produce 
any effect. The Judge, having summed-up, asked the 
jury if they desired him to read over the evidence. 
Upon the foreman replying in the negative, his lord- 
ship directed them to consider their verdict. They 
turned round, and, after an interval of five or ten 
minutes, to the surprise of everybody, there were 
symptoms of disagreement in the box. The Judge 
again asked if he should read over the evidence, 
adding : " Is there any question you wish to ask, or 
can I assist you in any other way ? ' 

The foreman, whose temper was apparently ruffled, 
replied, before any one could stop him, that all except 
one were agreed. The usher was then sworn and the 
jury retired ; the last to leave the box being the 


melancholy-looking man, who carried a portly-looking 
great-coat on his arm. 

Hours passed, and yet no verdict was returned. 
At five o'clock, the usual hour for the rising of the 
Court, the jury were sent for, and, in answer to the 
usual question, the foreman said there was not the 
slightest prospect of their agreeing. The Kecorder, 
who was then the Member for Southampton, expressed 
his intention of going down to the House, and of re- 
turning at ten o'clock, observing that, even if he had 
to keep the jury there all night, he would never 
discharge them until they returned a verdict. 

At ten o'clock the Recorder returned. Still no 
verdict was forthcoming. The jury were again sent 
back to their room. Five hours elapsed, and then 
namely, at three o'clock in the morning the usher came 
into Court with the intimation that the jury had agreed. 
The twelve men dragged their weary steps into the box, 
their names were called over, and the foreman returned 
a verdict of " Not Guilty." 

I shall never forget the excitement of my little 
friend the solicitor. He was wide awake sitting in the 
well, where he had remained all the time, going out 
neither for bit nor sup. He absolutely danced with 
delight. " Not a leg to stand on ! Not a leg to stand 
on ! " he exclaimed in my ear, and then hurried the 
prisoner from the dock. 

I was, I must confess, staggered at the result of the 
trial. Having unrobed, I was leaving the Court-house, 


when, in the lobby, I chanced upon one of the jury. I 
could not resist the temptation of asking the meaning of 
so extraordinary a denotement. " Lor' bless you, sir," 
said he, " it was that miserable-looking chap as lost his 
wife. There never was such an obstinate, disagreeable 
fellow born. From the first he said he had made up his 
mind that the prisoner was not guilty, and he said he 
would never consent to a verdict the other way. When 
we went to the room, he put his great-coat down in a 
corner, curled himself up on it, and commenced reading 
the newspaper. When any one spoke to him he said he 
wouldn't answer unless they'd come over to his way of 
thinking. The worst of it was, sir, that we had nothing 
to eat or drink ; but this obstinate chap kept eating 
sandwiches and drinking brandy and water from a great 
flask he had brought in his pocket ; and when we asked 
him for some he burst out laughing, and said he 
wouldn't give us a mouthful between us. Well, sir, 
what was the good of our sticking out ? There we was, 
and the Eecorder had said he wouldn't discharge us ; so 
we should have stopped there and starved. One by one 
gave in, until we all agreed to ' Not Guilty.' ' 

The next morning I had occasion to pass the little 
solicitor's office, and whom should I see coming out of it 
but the obstinate juryman. Strange to say, he no 
longer wore a melancholy expression, and, in place of 
the black clothes of the previous day, he was attired in 
a light tweed suit, such as a tourist affects, and had a 
merry, self-satisfied twinkle in the eye. 



An attempt to corrupt the police Trial of Critchley and Richards 
Ham's evidence Fatal termination of a fight Trial of those 
who took part in it A nice point : boxing or prize-fighting 1 
Mr. Baron Bramwell hesitates He consults Mr. Justice Byles 
The final decision, which settles the law on the subject. 

TOWAEDS tlie cud of 1868, a rather remarkable trial took 
place at the Old Bailey. I refer to it, not so much on 
account of its general interest, as on account of the 
illustration it affords of how an attempt may be made 
to corrupt the police by the higher class of criminals ; 
by which I mean professional thieves who, by their mal- 
practices, have amassed a considerable amount of money. 
Two men, William Critchley and Thomas Richards, were 
charged with offering and giving to James Ham and 
George Ranger, detectives of the Metropolitan Police 
force, the sum of 20 to induce them to give false 
evidence at the hearing of a charge against William 
Green and William Simpson. Ham himself, in the 
witness-box, told the story of the attempted corruption. 
On the 17th of May, he apprehended Green and 
Simpson for having in their possession a gold watch 


and chain supposed to have been stolen. He searched 
Simpson's house, and found there, under somewhat 
suspicious circumstances, a quantity of property. The 
case came before the Magistrate at the Lambeth Police 


Court on the 8th of May, and it was adjourned until 
the following Wednesday fortnight. On Saturday night, 
the 22nd of May, Ham received a letter, in consequence 
of which he went to the Elephant and Castle. He 
there saw Richards, who said : " Well, Jimmy, how 
are you ? Come over the way and have a glass." They 
then adjourned to the " Buckingham Arms" public- 
house, and after they had had some refreshment they 
left. They then walked down the road together, 
Richards taking Ham by the arm, and saying: "Jimmy, 
I'll tell you what I want to speak to you about. You 
and Ranger have got old Black Myles and Jimmy 
Green, haven't you ? " Ham replied in the affirmative. 
"I suppose," said Richards, "you don't want to get 
them convicted, do you ? >: The answer was: "No; 
not particularly." " Well," continued the tempter, 
"old Billy Critchley has been down to me, and he 
wanted me to see Potter 5 ' (the Inspector of Police) ; 
"but I said ' no, that won't do.' Now look here, 
Jimmy, old Billy says you can have twenty quid, and 
no one shall know anything about it except you, me, 
and Ranger. You can let the poor devils get turned 
up. You are sure to have them later on for some- 
thing better. The stuff you found hasn't got an 
owner yet. We can send some party down to buff 


for it" (a thieves' expression for "identify"); "and 
you can easily say before the Magistrate that you've 
made inquiry about the property, and you believe it 
belongs to the prisoner in Court." 

Ham now put himself in communication with his 
superior officers in reference to the affair, and from 
that moment he acted under their direction. An 
appointment was made for the purpose of the 20 
being handed over, and a meeting accordingly took 
place between Ham, Banger, and Eichards. The last- 
named was asked if he had brought the money, and 
he replied : " No ; you must get the men turned up 
first. We'll leave the money with the landlord of 

the " (mentioning the name of a public-house 

well known as a resort of thieves). " When the men 
are turned up, you can go there and collar the quids.'*' 
Upon Ham and Ranger demurring to this proposition, 
Richards said : " Well, old Billy Critchley won't part 
with it. I'll go clown and fetch him, and you shall 
settle it with him your own way." 

This was precisely what the officers desired ; for 
they had made arrangements for arresting both men. 
After being searched at the station so that, if neces- 
sary, it might be subsequently proved that neither 
had any money in his possession when he entered the 
public-house they had been followed by several other 
police officers, who were instructed to keep them well 
in sight, and to be in readiness to afford assistance 
at a moment's notice. 


Presently they were joined by Critchley and a 
well-known thief, nick-named " the Barrister." The 
former said : " Tom tells me, Mr. Banger, you is a 
perfect gentleman ; but I don't know you as well as 
I do Jimmy " (meaning Ham). The speaker then 
put his hand in his trouser pocket, and passed 
something to Bichards, who thereupon handed ten 
sovereigns to Ham, and a similar sum to Banger. 
Critchley, turning to Banger, then said : " Well, my 
time is precious, governor ; I must be off." As he 
emerged from the door of the public-house, he was 
seized by two constables, and simultaneously Ham and 
Banger arrested Bichards. 

This was the story as told by Ham, and it was 
fully corroborated by Banger. The prisoners were both 
found guilty, and both sentenced to two years' imprison- 
ment with hard labour. 

That the case was considered of some importance 
was shown by the fact that Mr. Hardinge-Giffard, Q.C., 
and Mr. Cooper appeared for the Commissioners of Police, 
who prosecuted. Critchley was defended by Serjeant 
Ballantine and myself; while the case of Bichards was 
entrusted to Mr. Metcalfe and Mr. Douglas Straight. 

I was always a favourite with professors of the 
noble art of self-defence ; and I do not think that, 
at any rate during the last fifteen or sixteen years 
of my professional career, there was a case in London 
associated with the ring in which I did not appear as 
defending counsel. 


One of these cases was tried before Baron Bramwell, 
at the Central Criminal Court, and as it, to a certain 
extent, decided the law upon the subject the decision 
coming as it did from our highest authority I may be 
allowed to refer to it. 

John Young, William Shaw, Daniel Morris, Edward 
Donelly, George Flynn, and others, were charged with 
the manslaughter of Edward Wilniot. Shaw was the 
son of the celebrated Jimmy Shaw, of Windmill Street, 
Haymarket, well known to all the jeunesse doree of that 
period who were of a sporting or " doggy ' tendency. 
Donelly was the champion of the light-weights. 

Messrs. Poland and Beasley conducted the case for 
the prosecution ; Messrs. Ribton and Gough appeared 
for Young ; and I was counsel for Shaw, Flynn, and the 
other defendants. A witness deposed that on the 9th 
of October, he went to the " Wrekin," in Broad Court, 
a house kept by George Shaw. Thence he went to the 
house of the prisoner, William Shaw, in Windmill Street, 
Haymarket. He had often been there before. A ring 
was always to be found in a room upstairs. The wall 
formed one of its sides, and the remaining sides were 
formed by stakes and a rope. He and Donelly acted 
as seconds for a man named Wilniot, and two men 
Morris and Daw acted as seconds for Young. The 

< i 

principals wore gloves. They were, as is usual, naked 
to the waist, their shirts being off. About a hundred 
persons were present, and occupied seats at either end 
of the ring. The men fought a succession of rounds, 


the contest lasting for about an hour. At the last 
round, Wilmot fell, in consequence " either of a shove 
or a blow" received from Young. On this point the 
witness was pressed, and he ultimately said that it was 
a blow, dealt somewhere in the face. Proceeding, he 
deposed that when Wilmot fell, he struck his head 
against a post running up in the centre of the ring. 
The witness picked him up, gave him a drop of brandy, 
and, after dressing him, took him in a cab to the 
hospital. All the prisoners were present, taking an 
active part in the fight, as seconds, time-keepers, or 
referees. In cross-examination, the witness admitted 
that it was " only sparring, fairly conducted " ; and 
that "time" was called. He also said that, with the 
exception of gloves being used, the ordinary rules of a 
prize-fight were observed. 

Evidence was then given by the house-surgeon of 
Charing Cross Hospital. Wilmot, he said, was brought 
in insensible at twelve o'clock at night. He never 
regained his senses, and died at half-past six next 
morning. The post-mortem had shown that death was 
the result of a very severe blow or fall. The body 
was covered with bruises. 

Inspector Silverton, who had charge of the West 
End district at that time, produced the gloves. 

Upon the conclusion of the evidence for the 
prosecution, I submitted that there was no case against 
Shaw ; and that the witnesses, having been spectators 
at an unlawful contest, must be regarded as accomplices, 


and, as such, would require to be corroborated. Mr. 
Poland replied, quoting a case that had been decided 
the other way. Mr. Baron Bramwell said it had 
occurred to him that the witnesses might have refused 
to give evidence on the ground that, by so doing, they 
mi^ht incriminate themselves. I further submitted 


that there was no evidence on a charge of manslaughter 

o o 

against any of the prisoners, death having happened in 
the exercise of a mere lawful sport. The Judge admitted 
that the difficulty was in deciding what there was that 
was unlawful in the contest. It took place in a private 
room ; and was there any breach of the peace ? No 
doubt if death ensued from a fight, independently of 
the fact that it took place for money, the case would 
be one of manslaughter. A fight was a dangerous 
thing, and likely to cause death ; but the medical 
witness had stated that sparring with the gloves was 
not dangerous, and was not a practice likely to cause 

Mr. Baron Bramwell then proceeded to the new 
Court, for the purpose of consulting Mr. Justice Byles. 
On returning, he stated that he retained the opinion he 
had already expressed. It had occurred to him, how- 
ever, that even supposing there was no danger in the 
original encounter, if the men fought on until they 
were in such a state of exhaustion, that there was a 
danger of their falling and sustaining fatal injuries, 
then the case might amount to one of manslaughter ; 

!_-> * ' 

and he proposed therefore so to leave the issue to the 


jury, holding over the point for the consideration of the 
Court for Crown Cases Eeserved, should it become 

The jury ultimately returned a verdict of "Not 
Guilty" against all the prisoners, and they were 



Trial of Madame Rachel Police Court proceedings Mr. Knox 
Ballantine, Straight, and I appear against Madame Rachel Mrs. 
Borradaile's evidence A description of that lady Her intro- 
duction to Lord Ranelagh What Mrs. Borradaile paid to 
be made "beautiful for ever" How she raised the necessary 
cash Gushing love-letters from " William " Ordering jewels, 
lace, trousseau, etc. Faulty orthography attributed to the 
servant His love was as warm as a lighted cigar Lord 
Ranelagh's denial and explanations The jury disagree and 
are discharged The fresh trial A verdict of " Guilty." 

IN the month of August, 18G8, a very remarkable case 
was tried before the Recorder of London that of Sarah 
Rachel Leverson, known to the world as Madame 
Rachel, a purveyor of all sorts of cosmetics, enamels, 
paint-powders, and rouges, who proclaimed, as one of 
the lures of her calling, that she had the power of 
making women " beautiful for ever." The case afforded 
a striking illustration of the vanity of some women, and 
of what tricks can be played upon them by the artful. 
The matter had been originally inquired into at 

MR. KNOX. 225 

Marlborough Street Police Court, where I appeared 
as counsel for the prosecution. The magistrate before 
whom the case came was the celebrated Mr. Knox, 
who was, in my opinion, after Sir Thomas Henry, the 
best metropolitan magistrate on the Bench during the 
quarter of a century that I practised at the Bar. He 
was a little sensational, it is true, and at times, with 
the heavy strain of a very busy Court upon him, he 
was inclined to be irritable ; but he was, nevertheless, 
a very able and painstaking magistrate. In the days 
of Delane that prince of editors, for whom no worthy 
successor has yet been found he was a leader writer on 
Tlie Times. He was a most accomplished man, speak- 
ing several modern languages, and certainly the best 
story-teller I have ever come in contact with. The 
Court at Marlborough Street was, and is, a most im- 
portant one ; and at last, from sheer hard work and 
over-pressure of the brain, my poor friend broke down. 
On returning home from the Court, he was seized one 
day in the streets with a very severe illness ; and, as 
he had completed his service as a civil servant, he re- 
tired at once upon his full pension. 

But I am forgetting Madame Rachel. Remand after 
remand took place ; but eventually she was committed 
for trial. Serjeant Ballantine, myself, and Mr. Straight, 
were retained for the prosecution, while the interests 
of Madame Rachel were entrusted to Mr. Digby 
Seymour, Q.C., Serjeant Parry, Serjeant Sleigh, and 
Mr. Rigby an array of counsel which clearly shows 

VOL. I. Q 


that making people "beautiful for ever" was not an 
unlucrative profession. 

The charge against the accused was that of obtaining 
the sum of 600 from Mary Tucker Borradaile, by 
false and fraudulent pretences, and of conspiring to 
defraud her of various other sums amounting in the 
total to 3,000. The case was so extraordinary a one 
that I propose to give the evidence of the prosecutrix 
almost in extenso. Examined by me in chief, she 
said : 

" I am the widow of Colonel Borradaile, to whom 
I was married twenty-two years ago. I first became 
acquainted with the prisoner in 1864. I saw in the 
newspaper an advertisement stating that Madame 
Kachel was 'purveyor to the Queen.' I went to her 
shop and had some conversation with her. She asked 
me how much money I had to spend. On my first 
visit I spent 10, and in the course of two or three 
days I had invested 170 with her. I paid her various 
sums of money for cosmetics, etc., during the latter 
part of 1864 and the commencement of 1865. Before 
purchasing these articles I asked her to do something 
for my skin, and she promised that, if I would follow 
out her course of treatment in every particular, she 
would ultimately succeed in making me beautiful for 


I do not wish to be at all unkind or ungallant ; 
but how the witness could have been brought to 
believe such a consummation possible if she had 


consulted a looking-glass and seen what Nature had 
done for her I was, and always have been, utterly 
unable to comprehend. She was a spare, thin, scraggy- 
looking woman, wholly devoid of figure ; her hair 
was dyed a bright yellow ; her face was ruddled with 
paint ; and the darkness of her eyebrows was strongly 
suggestive of meretricious art. She had a silly, 
giggling, half-hysterical way of talking, and altogether 
gave one the idea of anything but the heroine of 
such a romance as we are about to follow. 

The witness, continuing, said : " On one occasion 
I called upon Madame Kachel, who told me that she 
had had an interview with the gentleman who had 
fallen in love with me. On asking his name I was 
informed that it was Lord Ranelagh. I asked when 
he had met me, and the reply was both before and 
after my marriage. Madame Kachel said that he had 
lost sight of me for some time, but that he had 
recently seen me. She said that she would introduce 
me to him the next day. She also said that he 
was a very good man, and very rich. Next day 
I called at Maddox Street, where the prisoner lived. 
The house is the corner one, being partly in Maddox 
Street and partly in New Bond Street. Madame Eachel 
opened the door and said : ' I will now introduce 
you to the man who loves you.' She then introduced 
me to a man whom I believed, and still believe, to 
be Lord Kanelagh. I said to him, ' Are you Lord 
Eanelagh ? ' and he answered, ' Yes ; here is my card.' 

Q 2 


He then handed me a card, which I returned to him. 
The gentleman who gave me the card is the gentleman 
I now see in Court (Lord Ranelagh). Some conversa- 
tion took place between us, and then Lord Ranelagh 
retired. I afterwards went with Madame Rachel to 
her room, and she told me that Lord Ranelagh would 
make me a good husband. This w T as the first mention 
there had been of marriage. I saw Lord Ranelagh 
there on several subsequent occasions. On one 
occasion Madame Rachel told me to go and take 
a bath. The baths were at a Mrs. Hick's, in Davis 
Street, Berkeley Square, close by. I took the bath, 
and on my return to the shop I found Lord Rauelagh 
there. Madame Rachel again introduced me to him. 
He made a bow to me, but I forget the conversation. 
Lord Ranelagh then again retired, and I had a further 
conversation with Madame Rachel. She again told 
me he would make me a good husband. 

"At the end of May, or the beginning of June, 
Madame Rachel told me it was necessary that, before 
I married Lord Ranelagh, I should go through an 
extra process of being made beautiful for ever. I 
think Madame Rachel also said that the process was 
to be gone through at Lord Ranelagh's express desire. 
The sum I was to pay for this was to be 1,000. I 
went to the City with Madame Rachel, in a carriage, 
to sell out money in the Funds amounting in cash 
to 963. I then went back to Rachel's, where I 
saw a solicitor named H . The 963 was never 


handed over to me, but I gave this order to the 
solicitor, not in my handwriting, but signed by me : 

"'Mr. H , I request you to pay Madame 

Rachel 800 on account of 963 2s. lid, received 
this day. 

"'(Signed) M. T. BORRADAILE.' 

" Madame Rachel told me how to word it, and I 
wrote this receipt : 

"'A receipt for 800, being balance of 1,000 
received from me for bath preparations, spices, powders, 
sponges, perfumes, and attendance, to be continued 
till I (Mrs. B.) am finished by the process.' 

" Madame Rachel said we were to be married by 
proxy, and that it was to be done by letter writings. 
She said she had married two parties before by proxy, 
and that I should be the third. About a month after 
the receipt was signed I began to receive letters. I 
received some of them before the jewellery was ordered. 
Madame Rachel told me that jewellery was necessary 
for the marriage, and that it would cost 1,400. She 
told me that the letters would be signed ' William ' 
in case they should be left about. I knew at that 
time that Lord Ranelagh's Christian name was Thomas. 
At the time Madame Rachel gave me one of the 
letters, she also handed me a vinaigrette and a pencil- 
case, which she stated had belonged to his lordship's 
mother. The letter ran as follows : 



"'The little perfume-box and pencil-case belonged 
to my sainted mother. She died with them in her hand. 
When she was a schoolgirl it was my father's first gift 
to her. Granny has given the watch and locket to me 
again. Your coronet is finished, my love. Granny 
said you had answered my last letter, but you have 
forgotten to send it. I forgot yesterday was Ash 
Wednesday. Let old Granny arrange the time, as we 
have little to spare. My dearest one, what is the 
matter with the old woman ? She seems out of sorts. 
We must manage to keep her in good temper for our 
own sakes, because she has to manage all for us, and I 
should not have had the joy of your love had it not 
been for her. Darling love ; Mary, my sweet one, all 
will be well in a few hours. The dispatches have 
arrived. I will let you know all when I hear from you., 
my heart's love. Bear up, my fond one. I shall be at 
your feet those pretty feet that I love and you may 
kick your ugly old donkey. Two letters, naughty little 
pet, and you have not answered one. You are in 
sorrow about your brother. 

" ' With fond and devoted love, 

" ' Yours, till death, 


"Madame Kachel was ' Granny.' I also received this- 


letter from Madame Rachel's grand-daughter in her 
presence : 


" 'Granny tells me that you were to be with me 
at the Scotch Stores this afternoon. I waited outside 
7, George Street, for two hours. I give you one 
warning ; if you listen to your family I will leave 
England for ever. Mary, my own, I have to play a 
double game to save your honour and my own. It is 
now six o'clock, and I am wet, through walking up and 
down George Street. I have been asked all manner of 
questions. You must write and tell Lewis & Lewis you 
do not want them to interfere further in your affairs, or 
we are betrayed. And think of your position and 
name, and think of your daughter. Cope is at the 
bottom of all this. Mary, for the last time, choose 
between your family and me. If you value your own 
life or mine, do not admit Smith ; he is the paramour of 
your greatest enemy. My heart's life, I will be at All 
Souls' to-morrow. I was at Eand all's on Saturday last, 
a dirty corncutter's. If ever you go there again I shall 
cease to love you, if I can. If I call on you with a 
gentleman be sure to deny all knowledge of me, as 
otherwise we are lost. It is your name I study. 
" ' With fond and undying love, 

" ' Your devoted 


" Before I received that letter my family had been 


communicated with, and I had consulted Messrs. Lewis 
& Lewis. That letter was received after I had parted 
with all my money and securities. Almost all the letters 
were in different handwritings, but all the letters I 
received I believed came from Lord Ranelagh. Madame 
Rachel told me that his lordship had hurt his arm and 
could not write very well, and that his servant wrote 
some of the letters. I also received this letter from 
Madame Rachel : 


" { I will be with you to-morrow as soon as possible. 

" ' Yours, until death, 

" ' EDWARD. 

" ' My dearest beloved, write me a line kisses.' 
Mrs. Borradaile, care of Madame Rachel.' 

1C I 

" I pointed out to Madame Rachel that one of the 
letters was signed, 'Edward,' and she said it was 
necessary in case I left them about. Before the month 
of August I had parted with 1,400, and before parting 
with it I received this letter : 



" ' My own pet, do what I ask. I wish you to burn 
the letters, and all you do I dare say is for the best. 
My darling pet and love, many thanks. I know you 
will keep your promise. My sweet love, I will devote 


my life, and all my love to you. I cannot find words to 
do so. My devotion in years shall tell my heart's fond 
love for you, darling sweet one. I will tell you all at 
your feet. 

"'My own loved Mary, with fond devotion, ever 

yours, with lots of kisses, 


" On the envelope of that letter was written ' With 
love and kisses.' I wrote answers to those letters 
which Madame Rachel always dictated in her sitting- 
room. She always kept the letters I wrote, saying that 
she would give them to Lord Ranelagh. This is 
another letter that I received : 


'"I was in hopes I should have the pleasure of 
seeing you this day, but I am doomed to a disappoint- 
ment. I hear you are grieving, my own darling pet. 
Am I the cause ? I would rather be shot than cause 
you one minute's pain. Do you regret the confidence 
you have placed in me ? You say you have no desire to 
reside at Cheltenham again, my love. You make what 
arrangements you think proper, and I am satisfied. I 
thank you, my love, for going to Covent Garden. Let 
me know by return, my pet, when you have finished 
with Mr. Haynes, as I find it impossible to wait any 
longer. Hope deferred makes the heart grow sick. I 
hear all is arranged for the country, my own darling 


love. Do not let me have to chide you ; only say what 
you require, and your slightest wish shall be obeyed. 
" With fond, devoted love, 

" ' Your affectionate and loving 


"I remarked to Madame Rachel that the spelling 
of this letter was bad, and she said that his servant 
must have written it. I also received another letter 
from Madame Rachel. 

" I should say that, before receiving this letter, I had 
been told by Madame Rachel that Lord Ranelagh was 
going to Belgium with the volunteers. 



" ' What made you suppose I would go to Belgium 
without you ? It is cruel of you to think so. But 
after our disappointment of yesterday, I was in hopes 
that you would have complied with my wishes. I have 
left the message with Rachel. She told me last night 
that she expected you there, for sure, to-day. I had 
called there twice, and found you had not been. You 
said you would come after church. My own darling, I 
did not go to church this morning, and you know what 
prevented me from doing so. You must see Rachel 
to-night, as I may be ordered off by five in the morning. 
Pray, sweet love, call on her at once. I would rather be 
shot like a dog than leave England without you. I am 


half distracted at not finding you. There is no time 
to lose. 

" ' Your devoted, but loving friend for ever, 

" I also received this from the same source : 


'"Do not upbraid me. Any sacrifice you have 
made on my account I will not give you cause to regret. 
I am dunned to death at the thought of "the bills," and 
it all lies under a nutshell. I will show my love for 
you in such a way that you shall not regret all you 
have done for me, and I will repay it with love and 
devotion. See that fellow in Oxford Street, and 
tell him you will pay him in a day or two, and so you 
will. I am not angry with you, my own dear love. I 
will be with you sooner than you think. Your slightest 
wish shall be obeyed ; but I cannot understand why you 
prefer Mr. H. But I leave all to you, my love. Do 
not get into any mob. I heard you were insulted by a 
cabman in Oxford Street, yesterday. I wish I had 
been there. 

" ' With my fondest love, 

" ' Your devoted and loving, 

" I also received this letter : 



"'My sweet, darling Mary, I called at Rachel's 
to-day, and she looks as black as thunder. What is it, 
my sweet love, my own dear one ? What you said last 
night I thought was in joke. Is it the bill that has 
annoyed you ? What am I to do ? I tell you again 
and again that you are the only woman I love. You 
have never been the same to me since you listened to 
all the slander. What is it you want ? Write at once, 
and freely. There should be no disguise, my sweet pet, 
I love you madly, fondly. Why do you trifle with my 
feelings, cruel one ? 

" ' Your ever loving, and most truly devoted, and 

" ' WILLIAM.' 

" 'What have you done to offend Rachel ?' 

; 'I had seen a man named Bower at the shop. 
Rachel bought 380, or 400, worth of lace of him, 
I should, she said, require lace, as all ladies had lace 
when they were married. I have since paid Bower's 
bill, but I have never seen the lace. I have never had 
a yard of it. I received this letter with reference to 
the lace : 


" ' Is it your wish to drive me mad ? Granny 
has my instructions. Do as she tells you. Four 
letters, and not one reply. What is the meaning 


of the delay, at the eleventh hour ? Granny lent me 
the money. You shall pay her, my own sweet one. 
Get the lace to-day and fear nothing. It will be 35. 
I will explain all to your satisfaction, my own sweet 
one. I L have the acknowledgment for every farthing. 
Granny is our best friend, so you will find ; we cannot 
do without her until we go away. I have some pretty 
little things for Florence, light of my heart. Your 
sister and her husband have behaved very badly 
towards you, if you knew all. I tell you, love, if you 
are not careful they will divide us for ever. To the 
Strand to-day. Leave all to me, my own love, and fear 
nothing. If you have lost all love and confidence in 
your ugly old donkey, tell me ; but this suspense is 
terrible. I receive letters every day, telling me that 
you only laugh at, and show, my letters. Mary, beloved 
one of my heart, do not trifle with me. I love once, I 
love for ever. Leave all to me. I guard your honour 
with my life. 

" ' With fond and devoted love, 

" ' I am yours devoted, 

" ' WILLIAM.' 

"This letter had Lord Ranelagh's coronet and 
cypher upon it. It was either his coronet or his coat-of- 
arms. Madame Rachel took the letter from me and 
would not return it. This is another of the letters : 


" ' Why don't you do as Granny tells you? Why 


do you put obstacles in the way of your own happiness ? 
Sign the paper ; I will pay everything. My own 
darling love, if you marry, your pension will be stopped ; 
therefore, it will not matter if you sign the paper. 
My own heart's life, I will pay everything. Not the 
value of a coin shall be touched belonging to you and 
yours. You, that have ever been loving and con- 
fiding, why do you doubt my honour and sincerity ? 
What motive can you have, my love, for retaining 
those miserable scrawls of mine ? I requested you 
to return them, and for the first time you refused 
to do so. Mary, my love, if you have sent them to 
your family, say so. If you wanted my life, I would 
lay it down at your beautiful little feet. Mary, you 
are my joy. I place your letters with your likeness 
in my bosom every night. Granny told me she would 
arrange everything to our satisfaction. Why need you 
fear, my own sweet love ? I will not believe that 
you expose my letters, darling. Say you do not, with 
your own pretty mouth ! This week will settle all. 

" '' Yours devotedly, 

" ' WILLIAM.' 

" I also received this letter : 


"'I was ordered off at 11 o'clock last night; 
but I would not and could not go without you, my 
love. I would rather resign than leave without you. 


Granny promised me the trial trip this week. Can 
you possibly arrange it for one night this week, my 
own sweet love ? Mary, darling, my health is giving 
way under all this suspense. I have offered the money- 
three times over, and they refused to take it. Granny 
will see to this, and we can pay her when all is settled. 
What you have done for me I will double with love 
and devotion. Get the lace from the Strand ; you 
cannot possibly do without it. Granny has behaved 
very well with regard to money affairs, and she loves 
you as though you were her own child. The old 
fox is very clever, and will laugh at the Welshman. 
If you do not be careful, and be guided by me, love's 
labour is lost. The expenses will be 4,000. I am 
working day and night to save every shilling for you, 
my heart's life. Be sure to get the lace ; Stevens has 
got the Post Office Order. What have you done with 
my three letters ? 

" ' With fond and devoted love, 

" * I am your devoted 


" The sentence about the lace had reference to 
getting it out of pawn, Madame Eachel told me it 
was pawned. I do not remember whether she said 
that she had pawned it. I always understood that 
it was pawned for Lord Eanelagh. Madame Kachel 
asked me to go to the Strand, and take it out. 

" I received many more letters, but Madame Kachel 


always took them away from me. At the end of July, 
or the beginning of August, she said it was necessary 
I should have diamonds to marry Lord Eanelagh. 
She said she would send for Mr. Pike, a jeweller of 
New Bond Street. He was sent for, and he brought 
the diamonds into Madame Each el's sitting-room. 
There was a coronet and a necklace. Madame Rachel 
told him what was required, and I ordered them. 
She put them round my head and asked me how 
I liked them. Mr. Pike said the price was to be 
1,200 or 1,260, I am not sure which. I had not 
at that time 1,260, but I had some property at 
Streatham. I negotiated with Mr. Haynes for its 
sale. The property sold for 1,540. I wrote an order 
on Messrs. Haynes in Madame Rachel's presence. It 
ran as follows : 


" ' "Will you kindly forward to Madame Rachel 
1,400 on my account. 

"' (Signed) M. T. BORRADAILE.' 

"I gave her various sums of money, as I thought, 
for Lord Ranelagh, from time to time. After the 
property was sold, Madame Rachel said I should have 
the diamonds of Lord Ranelagh's mother. She showed 
me an old-fashioned coronet, which she said should 
be altered. Madame Rachel said she would get the 
trousseau for our marriage. I ordered clothes and lace 


nnd jewellery. The articles were all sent to Madame 
Rachel's shop. I have never had one of them. She 
told me that Lord Ranelagh's servant would come for 
some of them. I never could get any of the articles 
back. She always said, when I asked for them : ' You 
must ask the man who loves vou for them back.' 


I remember Madame Rachel on one occasion bringing 
me a lighted cigar, and saying that Lord Ranelagh's 
love for me was as warm as that. I executed a bond 
and gave it to Madame Rachel in December. I think 
it was to pay the sum of 1,600 to Lord Ranelagh. 
She then took me to a livery-stable, near a shop 
in New Bond Street, to select a carriage for my 
marriage with Lord Ranelagh. I selected one. She 

o o 

said that Lord Ranelagh's arms would be painted 
upon it. I parted with my money on the represen- 
tations made to me by Rachel. This applies to 
every sum." 

This concluded her examination by me in chief. 
Every one who was connected with that case must 
remember the stalwart military figure of Lord Ranelagh. 
He had been at the Police Court at the preliminary 
hearings before Mr. Knox, and he attended the trial 
at the Old Bailey, being accommodated with a seat 
upon the Bench. During Mrs. Borradaile's exami- 
nation he sat with a half-puzzled look upon his 
face. The reading of the letters caused roars of 
laughter in the Court, and his lordship joined in the 

VOL. I. B 


Mrs. Borradaile was cross - examined somewhat 
severely by Mr. Digby Seymour, who commenced by 
saying to the witness : 

"I hope you will not think me guilty of im- 
pertinence if I ask your age." 

She replied : 

" It is a very rude question, and it is of no use your 
pressing me upon the subject. I was married in 1846. 
The age of the bride is a question I shan't answer ; 
but I was married twenty-two years." 

Cross-examined by him, she went on to say : 

" I have been in India, and have always associated 
with people of the highest principles and rank. I 
am acquainted with the style and usages of polite 
society ; but I know nothing about business. I went 
to Madame Bachel's in 1864, when I was suffering from 
a little eruption on my face. I made inquiries, saw 
the prisoner's name up, and saw the advertisements. 
I had a conversation with her about her process. She 
said it did not consist, as many persons had been 
led to suppose, in stopping up the pores of the skin 
with dangerous cosmetics. Neither was it in plastering 
up the skin by painting the face, which must be 
disgusting to all right-minded women gifted with 
common-sense. On the contrary, it was accomplished 
by the use of the Arabian bath, composed of pure 
extracts of the liquid of flowers, choice and rare herbs, 
and other ingredients equally harmless and efficacious. 
She said her charges were from one hundred to one 


thousand guineas, though she was not going to make 
me beautiful for ever then. She told me in 18GG 
that her regular charge was a thousand guineas for 
the whole process. I never took a bath at Madame 
Eachel's house. I agreed that Madame Each el was to 
have 1,000. I do not know what benefit I derived 
from her treatment very little. My skin is not better 
now than it was. She gave me some soap and powder, 
and something to put in the bath. My hair is all 
my own in the native colour. I have used a little 
of the Auricanus, that is, hairwash. I know that Lord 
Eanelao-h's name is the Honourable Thomas Heron 


Jones. I wrote several things at Madame Eachel's 
desire ; but do not know what they were." 

A letter was here produced by Mr. Seymour. 

" This letter is in my handwriting. It is as 
follows : 

'"LONDON, September 23?rZ, 1866. 
. " ' I, the undersigned, authorise Mary Eachel 
Leverson to dispose of all the property she has in 
her possession belonging to me : the bunch of seals, 
ruby ring, gold chain and cross, silks, linen, and sundry 
other things, of all of which a list has been given.' ' 

Several other documents having been handed to 
the witness, she admitted that they also were in her 
handwriting, and continued : 

" I remember writing the following : 

B 2 



" ' I shall be able to leave home with you to- 
morrow at any hour you may think proper to 

The letter then went on to allude to some neckties 
and socks which she had bought for Lord Ranelagh, 
and in reference to which the writer remarked : " Thank 
goodness they are paid for." 

Mr. Seymour said : 

" What did you mean by that ? " 

The witness replied : 

" I wrote it at Madame Rachel's dictation every 
word of it. I ordered some shirts for Lord Ranelagh. 


Madame Rachel told me to do so, and I really be- 
lieved he wanted them. It was at that time I 
found out he was not very rich. I remember Madame 
Rachel saying that Lord Ranelagh was my husband 
in the eyes of the Almighty, for he had seen me 
in my bath at least half-a-dozen times. What she 
meant, I do not know. He never did see me in my 

In order to substantiate the false pretences, it was 
necessary for the prosecution to put Lord Ranelagh in 
the box, and we did so, not only with that object, but 
in order to give his lordship an opportunity of stating 
upon oath what he knew of the transaction. Lord 
Ranelagh deposed : 

" My name is Thomas Heron Jones. I have been 


frequently at Madame Rachel's shop, but I never 
authorised her to use my name in any way as repre- 
senting a desire or intention on my part to marry Mrs. 
Borradaile. I never authorised Madame Rachel to 
request loans from her for me. I made no representa- 
tions on the subject of jewels, and did not desire that 
such representations should be made nothing of the 
kind. I am very anxious to see the letter stated to 
bear my cipher. I have no paper with my arms upon 
it. If I have any paper it is with the address of my 
street and my monogram upon it." 

This finished his examination-in-chief by Serjeant 
Ballantine. He was then cross-examined by Mr. Sey- 
mour, who asked : 

" What was the attraction that took you to Madame 
Rachel's ? " 

His lordship replied : 

" I stand in rather an unenviable position. I have 
been so embroiled in this public scandal that I am glad 
to tell you. I had the same curiosity as any other 
gentleman to see the prisoner, who, I understood, had 
been able to get a large sum of money out of a lady. 1 
understood this from a trial which took place some 
years ago. Curiosity led me to the shop. You don't 
suppose I went there to be enamelled. Madame Rachel 
had received different articles on commission, and once 
or twice I bought two or three articles from her. I 
have often gone in to have a chat with her, as I have 
done at other shops. I think I saw Mrs. Borradaile 


once in the shop. I have no recollection of being 
introduced to her/' 

At the request of Mr. Seymour, Mrs. Borradaile 
was recalled, and subjected to a further cross-examina- 
tion, which, however, did not elicit any fresh facts 
of importance. Mr. Seymour intimated that he did 
not intend calling any witnesses for the defence, and 
addressed the jury. The Judge having summed up, the 
jury retired, and after an absence of about five hours 
returned into Court, not having been able to agree upon 
a verdict. They were accordingly discharged. 

It of course now became necessary that the trial 
should be proceeded with de novo. To go on with the 
case that session was found to be undesirable, and it 
was accordingly adjourned for a month, the prisoner 
being admitted to bail in two sureties of 5,000 each. 

The second hearing took place before Mr. Com- 
missioner Kerr. It commenced on Monday, September 
21st, and ended on Friday, September 25th. The 
evidence for the prosecution was practically the same as 
before, and at its close Mr. Digby Seymour intimated 
that he proposed to call witnesses. This he did, in the 
persons of Kachel Leverson, the eldest daughter of the 
prisoner, and Leonte Leverson, the younger daughter. 
In the end the jury returned a verdict of "Guilty," 
and the prisoner was sentenced to five years' penal 



Madame Eachel again A case that did not come into Court A 
lovely woman seeks to improve upon Nature She takes a bath 
at Madame Rachel's and loses all her jewels Treachery of the 
wicked old perfume-vendor The victimised lady confides in her 
husband He seeks my advice The decision we come to, and 
why Sergeant Parry and his methods His popularity " They 
call her Cock Eobin." 

IN the interval that elapsed between the time Madame 
Eachel's case was remanded from the Police Court and 
tried at the Old Bailey, my opinion was asked in 
another matter connected with the accused woman. As 
the facts are powerfully illustrative of the extreme 
stupidity of vain women, and as I suppress the names 
of the parties concerned, there can be no harm in taking 
the reader into my confidence. 

A West-End solicitor sought my opinion on the 
facts here set forth. His client, a lady of fortune and 
position, had seen the advertisements of Madame Rachel, 
and though, as I subsequently found out for she at- 
tended a consultation at my chambers with her solicitor 
and husband she was an extremely good-looking and 


attractive woman, she decided to see if it were not 
possible to improve upon Nature. She accordingly pro- 
ceeded to the establishment in Maddox Street, and 
entered into an agreement with Madame Eachel as to 
what she was to pay for baths taken at the establish- 
ment, cosmetics, etc. ; and I need hardly say that the 
rapacious old harpy insisted upon being paid in advance. 
One day the lady in question went to Madame Rachel's 
house for the purpose of taking a bath, and foolishly 
wore a number of very valuable rings upon her fingers, 
diamond ear-rings, and other jewellery. On divesting 
herself of her garments, in a dressing-room that was 
a short distance from, though in the same passage as, 
the bath-room, she took off these costly ornaments and 
placed them in a drawer. She then proceeded to the 
bath-room, leisurely went through the process that had 
been prescribed for her, and presently returned to the 
dressing-room. When she had finished her toilet, and 
was about to depart, she looked in the drawer for 
the articles she had deposited there, and, to her dismay, 
found they had all disappeared. She rang the bell, 
and upon the appearance of an attendant, asked to see 
the proprietress of the establishment. Madame Rachel 
was at once summoned, and upon being told of the 
loss in question, flew into a violent rage, or rather, to 
be strictly accurate, pretended to do so. She roundly 
declared that she did not believe any jewellery had 
been deposited in the drawer at all, and upon the 
unfortunate lady insisting that such had been the case, 


and demanding the return of her property, the wicked 
old woman turned round and said : 

" It's of no use your giving yourself airs here. I 
know who you are. I have had you watched. I know 
where you live (giving the name and address of the 
lady). How would you like your husband to know 
the real reason for your coming here, and about the 
gentleman who has visited you here ? ' 

The poor victim was so horrified by this, that, 
losing all presence of mind, she hastily quitted the 
shop. It was not until she had read of the Borradaile 
case, in connection with the hearing before the magis- 
trate, that she went to her husband, and told him of 
the loss she had sustained, and of the despicable trick 
that had been played upon her. The husband was a 
man in an exceedingly good position, and, after dis- 
cussing the matter with me in consultation, he came 
to the decision which I think was a wise one that 
it was better to put up with the loss of the jewellery 
than to face the disagreeable exposure that would be 
inevitable if the matter were brought into Court. 

One of the ablest criminal counsel during my pro- 
fessional career was Serjeant Parry. He was exceedingly 
popular at the Bar. Remarkably solid in appearance, his 
countenance was broad and expansive, beaming with 
honesty and frankness. His cross-examination was of 
a quieter kind than Serjeant Ballantine's. It was, 
however, almost as effective. He drew the witness 
on, in a smooth, good-humoured, artful, and apparently 


magnetic fashion. His attitude towards his adversary 
also was peculiar. He never indulged in bickering, was 
always perfectly polite, and was most to be feared 
when he seemed to be making a concession. If in 
the course of a trial he, without being asked, handed 
his adversary a paper with the words: "Wouldn't 
you like to see this ? ' : or some kindred observation, let 
that adversary beware, for there was something deadly 
underneath. He was a very successful advocate in 
criminal cases, and had few equals in trials of nisi 
prim. Both he and Serjeant Shee (who was also a 
man of strong build) were wonderful in cases of tort, 
libel, and slander, and in actions at law ejusdem generis. 
Parry was most popular on the Home Circuit. 
Leaders and juniors had an equal affection for him. He 
was a wonderful teller of anecdotes, fond of a good 
dinner, and a great judge of port wine. For many years 
he was a member of the Garrick Clubland numerous were 
the pleasant dinners given by him there. They took 
place in the little room opposite the smoking-room, and 
at those dinners I was a frequent and welcome visitor. 
He came to the Bar late in life. Originally he was a 
librarian or custodian in the British Museum. While 
in this office, he saved sufficient money to meet the 
necessary Inns of Court fees, to enter as a student at 
the Temple, and subsequently to be called to the Bar. 
He first attended the Middlesex Sessions, then the Old 
Bailey, and quickly came into public notice. He did 
a large criminal business at the same time as Clarkson, 


Bodkin, and Ballantine. I think that both he and the 
last-named took the coif and became Serjeants simul- 
taneously at any rate there was very little difference of 
time between them. 

I remember being associated with Serjeant Parry in 
a somewhat remarkable case, the details of which I do 
not propose to give. The central figure in this case 
was a man named Kisley, commonly known as "Professor" 
Risley. He had acquired a considerable sum of money 
by taking about the country, and to various places of 
amusement in the metropolis, a band of gymnasts. He 
was charged at the Central Criminal Court with unlaw- 
fully attempting to take Maria Mason, a girl under the 
age of sixteen, who lived in one of the alleys leading 
from Leicester Square, out of the possession of her 
father. I attended for him before the magistrate, Sir 
Thomas Henry, at Bow Street. After numerous 
hearings the case was sent for trial. Mr. Besley 
conducted the prosecution, while Mr. Serjeant Parry, 
myself, and Mr. Straight, conducted the defence. A 
consultation took place at the Serjeant's chambers 
on the Saturday previous to the commencement of the 
Session, Mr. Straight and the solicitor instructing us 
attending it. Though I had been the good old Serjeant's 
junior on many occasions, this was the first and only 
time he was ever angry with me. I am afraid I was 
always somewhat impetuous ; but the impetuosity arose 
through over-anxiety for the welfare of my clients. 

The case, as it came out before the magistrate } 


proved to be an} 7 thing but a strong one, and it was 
very nearly dismissed by his worship. I was certainly 
under the impression myself that an easy victory lay 
before us. Of course the Serjeant's brief had been 
delivered before we met ; and he had, equally of course, 
carefully read and thoroughly digested it. When we 
entered the room to hold the consultation, I was some- 
what surprised to see a settled gloom upon his counte- 
nance. " Well, Serjeant," I exclaimed, " and what do 
you think of our case ; a galloping acquittal, eh ? ' He 
turned round to me almost savagely, and said : " Are 
you going to conduct the case, or am I ? Hadn't you 
better wait until you hear what I have to say upon the 
subject ? ' I naturally collapsed. 

During the consultation, the Serjeant expressed 
anything but a sanguine anticipation as to the result. 
The consultation over, we were all about to quit his 
presence, but he requested Straight and myself to 
remain behind. No sooner was the attorney out of the 
room, and the door shut, than he turned to me and 
exclaimed : " My dear Monty, when will you learn 
prudence ? What on earth do you mean by speaking 
about a galloping acquittal before the solicitor ! Just 
consider the position you put me in ! Supposing I lose, 
what will he naturally say, what will his client naturally 
say ? for he is sure to repeat what has passed ' If we 
had allowed Montagu Williams to conduct the case, we 
should have won it, for he told the Serjeant that it was 
a galloping acquittal.' It is nothing of the sort, my dear 


boy. I have had years and years more experience than 
you. Never speculate upon verdicts in such cases as 
these a young girl in the box, too ! I assure you I 
entertain a very different opinion, and if we win, it will 
be by the skin of our teeth." Then, with a smile on his 
good-humoured face, he added : " Now don't lose your 
temper, you know you do on the slightest provocation. 
What I say is entirely for your own good." Well, no 
one could be angry with him, so I laughed, too ; and 
Douo-las and I then left the consultation-room together. 

o o 

How correct the Serjeant was, was shown in the 
morning. The trial came on, and the girl told her 
story. She was of extremely prepossessing appearance 
young, fragile, and extremely innocent-looking. 
She hesitated in giving her answers, and eventually 
burst out into a flood of tears. The Serjeant was 
sitting with his two juniors myself on the right, and 
Douglas Straight on the left and as this scene in 
the drama was enacted, I shall never forget the look 
that he gave us. He was a master in the art of cross- 
examining a witness of this description. Of all the 
duties of a counsel, that of cross-examination is, in 
my opinion, the most difficult one in which to acquire 
proficiency. Few have excelled in it. It is a dangerous 
weapon, and the true art lies in knowing either where 
not to put any questions at all, or the exact moment 
when to stop putting them. 

The Serjeant handled the witness with great delicacy, 
but he was unable to shake her in any particular. As 


he sat down, he turned round to me and whispered : 
" What did I tell you ? " The younger sister of the 
girl was then put into the box. Of course the whole 
of the case turned on the question of the respectability 
and previous character of the prosecutrix. While the 
Serjeant was cross-examining the sister, in reference 
to a male cousin, regarding whom some suggestions 
had been made, the witness made the following reply 
to one of the questions put to her : 

" Yes ; I do remember his coming to our house and 
asking for my sister. He asked for her by her nick- 


Quick as lightning, the Serjeant seized the point, 
and raising that ponderous forehead of his, and opening 
upon the witness his great luminous eyes, he said : 

" Nickname ? What is her nickname ? ?: 

The witness replied : 

"They call her Cock Robin." 

Turning first of all to me, and then to Straight, 
and with an indescribable look at the jury, Parry 
slowly and significantly repeated the words : "They 
call her Cock Robin." From that moment the case 
was at an end. 

Little did the audience know what subsequently 
transpired as to her character. The story only shows 
how deceptive witnesses of this description are. She 
wore, it is true, every appearance of innocence, but 
in her person she illustrated the truth of the old 
adage that one should not judge by appearances. 



Police Court practice Magistrates at Marlborough Street and Bow 
Street : Sir Thomas Henry, Sir James Ingham, Mr. Flowers, 
Mr. Vaughan, etc. Story of the gentleman from Bourne- 
mouth who lost his watch.- -How the suspected man was 
arrested and taken before a magistrate The prosecutor finds he 
has made a mistake Sir James Ingham. gives a practical illus- 
tration of human forgetfulness An old thief at the back of the 
Court perceives his opportunity and seizes it Social reforms 
brought about by Mr. Knox The West End : then and now- 
Licensing business Excellent City Aldermen : Sir Thomas 
Gabriel, Sir Benjamin Phillips, Sir James Lawrence, and others. 

BESIDES the business I did at the Central Criminal 
Court and the Middlesex and Surrey Sessions where 
I was often taken " special " I had a very large practice 
at the Police Courts. In those days, counsel were taken 
into those Courts far more frequently than they are 
now, and an important case was never heard there 
without their appearance, either on one side or on both 
sides. The Courts where most cases of importance 
were tried were those at Bow Street and Marlborouo-h 


Street, the latter taking the lion's share. The 


magistrates at Bow Street were Sir Thomas Henry, 
Mr. Vausjlian, and Mr. Flowers ; and in reference to the 

O ' 

last-named, who was familiarly known as " Jimmy" 
Flowers, I may mention that he was an old Temple 
pupil of my father's, and one of the most kind-hearted 
creatures that ever lived. At Marlborougdi Street, the 

O 7 

magistrates were Mr. Tyrwhyt and Mr. Knox. Sir Thomas 
Henry, as chief magistrate, only sat in Court about 
two days a week, for he had to transact all the Home 
Office business, and hear the extradition cases ; the 
latter being generally disposed of in his private room. 
He was an excellent man, and as chief magistrate we 
shall never see his like again. 

There was no Bow Street Police Court in those 
days. The Court was held in two private houses, 
knocked into one, on the opposite side of the road 
to where the present building stands. Near it was 
the " Garrick's Head," where Judge Nicholson used to 
preside over the mock-trial of the Judge and Jury. 

The Chief Clerk at Bow Street was Burnaby, and 
a most excellent clerk he was. I think that, when he 
retired, he had filled the office for something like forty 
years. Mr. Vaughan, before he became a magistrate, 
enjoyed a considerable practice on the Oxford Circuit. 
No man was ever more just and firm. He was called 
to the Bar in November, 1839, and made a magistrate 
in June, 1864. He is still upon the Bench, while Sir 
Thomas Henry and " Jimmy " Flowers have passed 
away. The successor to Sir Thomas Henry in the 


office of chief magistrate is Sir James Ingham. He 


was called to the Bar on the 15th June, 1832, and 
made a magistrate in March, 1849. He is now, I 
believe, over eighty years of age. 

A rather good story is told of Sir James In^ham, 
though I am not prepared to vouch for its truth. The 
incidents occurred or rather, are said to have occurred 
soon after his promotion. A gentleman travelled by rail 
on the South-Western from Bournemouth to London. 
He commenced his journey in an unoccupied carriage, 
and proceeded for a considerable distance alone. At 
one of the intermediate stations I think it was 
Basingstoke a man entered the compartment. The 
train did not stop again until it reached Vauxhall. 
On the way thither, the gentleman from Bournemouth 
fell asleep. When the train arrived at Vauxhall, he 
woke up, and put his hand to his pocket for the 
purpose of ascertaining the time. To his consternation, 
lie found that his watch and chain were gone. His 
sole companion in the carriage was busily engaged 
reading a newspaper. Turning to him in a some- 
what excited manner, he asked : 

" Has any one else entered this compartment while 
I have been asleep ? " 

" No," was the answer. 

" Then, sir," proceeded the gentleman from Bourne- 
mouth, " I must request you to tell me what you have 
done with my watch. It has been stolen during the 
time that you have been in the carriage. You had better 

VOL. I. S 


return it, or I shall have to give you in charge on 
our arrival at Waterloo." 

The other traveller, who really appeared to be 
virtuously indignant, over and over again protested 
that he was a gentleman ; that he had seen no watch ; 
and that he knew nothing whatever about the matter. 

When the train arrived at its destination, a porter 
was sent to fetch a constable. The suspected man 
was given into custody, and conducted to Bow Street 
Police Court, where the charge was at once heard by 
Sir James Ingham. When put into the box, the 
prisoner repeatedly asserted his innocence. In the 
course of the inquiry, Sir James Ingham asked the 
prosecutor whether, when the train arrived at 
Waterloo, he had observed anybody come near the 
prisoner. The prosecutor replied : 

" Yes ; another man came up, apparently for the 
purpose of inquiring what was the matter/'' 

" Just so," replied the magistrate. " That accounts 
for the disappearance of the watch. These things are 
never done alone. Wherever a theft takes place, 
whether in a train, a crowd, or elsewhere, there is 
always a confederate to receive the stolen property. 
Prisoner, you are remanded for a week ; but if you 
are a respectable man, I have no objection to take 
very substantial bail." 

Upon this, the accused stated that he had no 
friends in London, and that it would be impossible 
for him to find bail, as he was a foreigner or rather, 


an Englishman who had spent the last few years of 
his life in foreign travel, having only returned to this 
country a day or two before. Therefore, he declared, 
to remand him for a week would be tantamount to 
sending him to prison for that period. Finally, he 
prevailed upon Sir James Ingham to take the case 
again upon the following day. 

Next morning, when the remands were called on, the 
prisoner was put into the dock, the prosecutor simul- 
taneously entering the witness-box. The latter wore 
a very dejected appearance, and, before any questions 
were put to him, he said that he wished to make a 
statement. " I do not know," he began, " how to 
express my regret for what has occurred ; but I find 
that I did not lose my watch after all. I communicated 
my loss by telegraph to my wife at Bournemouth, 
and she has written to say that my watch and chain 
are safe at home." He proceeded to say that he could 
not explain the matter on any other supposition but 
that, dressing hurriedly to catch the train, he had 
entirely forgotten to take his watch from the dressing- 

Here was a pretty state of things ! An innocent 
man had been dragged through the streets as a felon, 
falsely charged, and locked up for the night. Sir 
James, who is one of the most urbane of men, did 
all he could to throw oil upon the troubled waters. 
He said : " It is a most remarkable occurrence. To 
show, however, how liable we all are to make these 


mistakes, I may mention, as an extraordinary co- 
incidence, that I myself have only this morning been 
guilty of precisely the same oversight as the one in 
question. I was under the impression, when I left 
my house at Kensington, that I put my watch (which, 
I may mention, is an exceedingly valuable one) in 
my pocket ; but, on arriving at this Court, I found 
that I must have left it at home by mistake." 
Ultimately both parties to the incident left the Court, 
an amicable understanding having apparently been 
arrived at between them. 

The business of the Court over, Sir James Ingham 
wended his way home. On entering his drawing- 
room, he was met by one of his daughters, who 
exclaimed : 

" Papa, dear, I suppose you got your watch all 
right ? " 

" Well, my dear," replied the chief magistrate, 
"as a matter of fact, I went out this morning 
without it." 

" Yes, I know, papa," his daughter replied ; " but 
I gave it to the man from Bow Street who called for 

There had been an old thief at the back of 
the Court while the occupant of the bench was, 
that morning, giving an illustration, from personal 
experience, of human forgetfulness. He had whipped 
into a hansom cab, driven to the residence of Sir 
James Ingham, and, by representing himself to be a 


bond fide messenger, had obtained possession of the 
valuable watch, which, so far as I am aware, has 
never been seen or heard of again, by its rightful 
owner, from that day to this. 

To Mr. Knox is mainly due the reformation of 
the Haymarket and the night-houses which, twenty 
or thirty years ago, abounded in the neighbourhood 
of Panton Street and Leicester Square. When I 
was a young man, the Argyll Kooms and the Holborn 
Casino were in existence, the former, which originally 
had been a dancing saloon in Windmill Street, 
being the property of Mr. Robert Bignell. Upon 
the ruins of the Windmill Street Saloon were built 
the Argyll Rooms, which came to be the most popular 
dancing establishment in London, being frequented 
by all the young men about town, and the denizens 
of the demi-monde. The rooms were opened at about 
9.30 p.m., and did not close until midnight. They 
were licensed for music and dancing, and for beer 
and spirits, by the Middlesex magistrates. This con- 
dition of affairs lasted until fourteen or fifteen years 
ago, when, after a desperate fight before the licensing 
authorities, the license was taken away. There were 
several houses in the immediate vicinity which opened 
and commenced business at about the time that the 
doors of the Argyll Rooms were closed. In the Hay- 
market itself, opposite to where the London Pavilion 
now stands, was the Piccadilly Saloon. It had no 
license whatever ; and it was notorious that, with 


regard to this place, and to the night-houses about 
which I shall have something to say presently, the 
police were induced, by some means, and for some- 
reasons into which I do not propose to go, to per- 
sistently close their eyes. Inspector Silverton was 
the police officer responsible for the good or bad 
order of the district. At the Piccadilly Saloon, which 
was, as I have said before, an unlicensed dancing- 
room, the fun would commence at about 12.30. It 
was a small room, with a gallery upstairs. Some 
one stood at the outer door, which opened upon the 
passage leading into the dancing-room ; and half- 
way up the passage was the man who took the 
entrance-money. There was a regular drinking-bar 
on the left-hand side as you entered, and at the end 
of the room were three musicians, one of whom played 
the piano, another the harp, and the third the fiddle. 
The police were supposed to visit such houses as this, 
at least once every night ; and what used to take 
place here for I have seen it with my ow r n eyes 
was simply a ludicrous farce. A knock was given at 
the outer door by the visiting inspector, whereupon 
the word was passed : " Police ! ' Some two or three- 
minutes were allowed to elapse, and then the inspector, 
accompanied by one or two subordinates, entered the 
building, lantern in hand. The interval of time had 
been sufficient to enable all the bottles and glasses 
to be whipped off the counter, and placed on the 
shelves underneath, innocent coffee-cups being sub- 


stituted in their stead. Sufficient time had also been 
given to enable the three musicians to vanish through 
a doorway. This doorway was at the back of the room, 
and opened into a sort of cupboard, large enough 
to conceal the three delinquents. Here they remained 
until the police, having gone through the usual sham, 
of walking round the room, had taken their departure. 

What I have said in reference to the Piccadilly 
Saloon, applies equally to Bob Croft's, which was in 
the Haymarket itself, on the right-hand side going 
down towards the theatre ; Kate Hamilton's ; Sam's, 
in Panton Street ; Sally's, on the opposite side of the 
road ; and other establishments of a similar kind. 
It was currently reported, when Inspector Silverton 
left the force which he did shortly after these dens 
(mainly through the instrumentality of the learned 
magistrate at Marlborough Street) had been closed 
that he retired upon a very snug competence. 

Of course it is an open question whether the 
suppression of places of this description was ultimately 
for the public benefit. In those days, the exterior 
I mean the thoroughfares of Leicester Square, the 
Haymarket, Piccadilly, etc. was perfectly quiet. The 
evil, which I suppose must exist in some shape or 
other in all largely-populated cities such as ours, was, 
to a certain extent, concealed from the public eye. 
It is not so now. Since the late Metropolitan Board 
of Works granted two of the most important sites in 
the West End for the erection of the Criterion Kes- 


taurant and the Pavilion Music-Hall, the thoroughfares 
immediately adjoining have become, after closing hours, 
simply impassable for respectable persons. With 
regard to Piccadilly, it is getting from bad to worse, 
and night is rendered simply hideous by street rows and 
disgraceful scenes of all descriptions. I can remember 
the old Evans's, which stood on a spot now occupied 
by the premises of the New Club. It was only a 
small room, with a recess at the further end. Paddy 
Green was the proprietor. Of course, I am now speak- 
ing of a time before women were admitted ; and 
the songs that were sung by Sharpe, Eoss, and others, 
were not always of the most delicate description. 
Thackeray was a great habitue of Evans's. He usually 
took up his position, two or three times a week, in 
a particular seat at the back of the room, and against 
the wall. Herr von Joel was an attraction at the 
establishment. He will be well remembered by those 
who heard him, for his imitation of the voices of birds. 
He had a wonderful trick of playing tunes upon 
walking-sticks, which he would borrow from persons 
in the audience. To him belonged the privilege of 
selling cigars. In the bills he was announced as 
being " retained upon the strength of the establishment 
in consequence of his long services." Few among 
those who visited Evans's, will forget the rubicund 
countenance, the dark silk pocket-handkerchief and 
the snuff-box, of Paddy Green, or the extraordinary 
method of arithmetic employed by Skinner, the head 


waiter. He it was who took the money from the 
guests as they passed out ; and he totted up their 
bills from memory with such remarkable rapidity as 
to daze their very often somewhat hazy intelligence. 

When I first began business, the licensing all over 
the metropolis, which is a very lucrative matter for 
counsel, was mainly in the hands of Messrs. Sleigh 
and Poland. After a few years, however, when Sleigh 
became Serjeant, the business was practically divided 
between Poland, Besley, and myself. I never cared 
for the work, but the fees were large, and the briefs 
were numerous circumstances which acted as gilding 
upon an unpalatable pill. 

I have known the law officers of the Crown, and 
other most distinguished Q.C's., to be retained in 
connection with the Argyll Rooms, Cremorne, the 
Aquarium, and other kindred places. On one occasion, 
when Sir John Holker was Attorney-General, he, 
Poland, and myself, were retained in a case of this 
description. A fee of two hundred and fifty guineas 
was marked upon Sir John's brief, and I am under 
the impression that all he had to do, with the ex- 
ception of attending a few consultations, was to 
address the magistrates for a quarter of an hour. For 
this, he received in all about three hundred guineas. 
A more unsatisfactory tribunal, in my humble opinion, 
than that before which the licensing business came, 
never existed. Where large vested interests are con- 
cerned, influence is brought to bear in every available 


shape and form. Matters have been considerably altered, 
a revision of the licensing system having taken 
place. One of the consequences of that revision is 
that licenses for spirits and beer are granted, in 
the first instance, by the district magistrates, whose 
decisions have to be submitted to a confirmation 
committee, which is selected from the whole metropolis. 
Matters even now, in my humble judgment, call aloud 
for reform. I believe one-half of the crime of the 
metropolis certainly in such districts as Greenwich, 
Deptford, Whitechapel, and Shoreditch, where the 
heritage of the people is pestilential dens, hovels, 
slums, and darkness is largely due to the reckless 
manner in which licenses have been showered about, 
like pepper from a pepper-box, by the licensing 
authorities. Personally, I am not one of those who 
would rob the working man of his modest glass of 

^> O 

beer, but I am nevertheless of the opinion that, so 
long as the present state of things exists in reference 
to the establishment of public-houses, but little success 
will crown the efforts of those who seek to improve the 
condition of the people. The question is, who is to 
move in the matter ? Politicians on both sides of 
the House are apparently afraid to do so. The truth 
is that the licensed victuallers are so powerful a body 
that neither political party dares to offend them. 

While speaking about the magistrates, I must not 
forget the City aldermen. It is often said that it 
would be a good thing if we had stipendiaries in the 


City as well as in other parts of the metropolis, but 
with this I am not at all inclined to agree. Speaking 
from five-and-twenty years' experience of the City 
of London, I am bound to say that the aldermen 
do their work most admirably. Of course they have 
capital clerks. When I first began to practise at 
the Guildhall and the Mansion House, a gentleman 
named Oke was the chief clerk at the latter place. 
He was a man of very great legal knowledge, and 
the editor of " Oke's Magisterial Synopsis," and 
of other elementary legal hand-books. Mr. Martin, 
an equally good assistant, was the head clerk at the 
Guildhall. They were always quite able to keep the 
presiding Justice straight in all questions of law, and 
as, very often, at the Mansion House, cases of great 
commercial importance are tried, it was very necessary 
that they should have possessed the capacity to do 
so. While fretting the law of the matter from the 

O O 

clerk, the presiding alderman, being himself a trades- 
man or merchant, could bring to bear, in considering 
the various matters that came under his notice, his 
mercantile knowledge and general business capacity. 
Of course, it is invidious to particularise where all 
did their duty so well, but if I were asked to name 
three of the best, I should say Alderman Sir Thomas 
Gabriel, Sir Benjamin Phillips, and Sir James Lawrence. 

A certain gloomy day is well remembered in 
the City of London. Some years ago, Gurney's, and 
other large banking establishments, the Merchants' 


Company, and other great mercantile and discount 
houses, suddenly put up their shutters, and stopped 
payment. Criminal prosecutions followed, taking place 
before either the Lord Mayor or the presiding alderman 
at the Mansion House. I was quite delighted with 
the amount of sagacity, power of cross-examination, 
and sound good sense, displayed by Sir Thomas Gabriel 
at the hearing of one of the extraordinary charges in 
question, regarding which I may have something 
more to say before I have finished these pages. 

Sir Benjamin Phillips I knew both professionally 
and in private life. He was a man about whom there 
was no nonsense. He never claimed to be anything 
but what he was a plain citizen, and a self-made 
man. Although extraordinarily wealthy, he was never 
tired of referring to the day when he came up to London 
without even the proverbial sixpence in his pocket, 
and commenced life upon the very lowest rung of the 
ladder. Upon one occasion he took me to the Commercial 
Road in his carriage, and pointed out a little bead-shop 
there, remarking as he did so : " And here, my boy, 
is the place where my wife and I first began business 
by selling beads." From such small beginnings grew 
the great house of Faudel, Phillips & Co., whose 
premises now occupy a great portion of Newgate 



The Shrewsbury election petition Douglas Straight accused of 
bribery and treating "We all put up at " The Raven" My social 
duties as junior Hardinge-Giffard would not let me smoke in 
the sitting-room I have my revenge, and Giffard has no 
breakfast The tactics I pursue in regard to the dinner 
Ballantine opens the case The man with the white hat The 
"Dun Cow" dinner A little joke from the Bench Straight be- 
comes, very angry with Ballantine Four anxious hours Baron 
Channell gives a decision in our favour General rejoicings. 

I WAS junior counsel at different times in several 
election petitions. The first was that at Wallingford, 
where Mr. Dilke was the petitioner, and Mr. Vickers, 
distiller who had a house at Goring, on the Thames, 
close to the place he sought to represent was the 
sitting Member. The trial took place before Mr. 
Justice Blackburn. Mr. Merryweather (poor Bunsby ! ) 
and Mr. Poland were counsel for the petitioner, while 
Serjeant Ballantine and myself represented the sitting 
Member. As, however, the Serjeant has described 
this petition at some length in his book, I do not 
propose to refer to it, except en passant. 


The next election petition in which I was concerned 
took place in 1870, and was a case of the greatest 
possible interest to me, because the sitting Member, 
whose junior counsel I was, was my intimate friend and 
daily companion, Douglas Straight. The seat was that 
of Shrewsbury. Douglas had originally gone down 
to the constituency to assist the candidature of Mr. 
Alderman Fio'sins, and he was so successful in further- 

^> CD ^ 

ing the interests of that gentleman that he deter- 
mined at the time that, should the opportunity occur, 
he would contest the seat himself. The time came 
for him to carry his intentions into effect ; and he 
found himself opposed to a gentleman of the name 
of Cotes. The votes polled were for Mr. Straight 
(Conservative), 1,291; for Mr. Cotes (Liberal), 1,253; 
thus giving the former a majority of 38. Very soon 
after this election, a General Election took place, when 
the same two candidates were in the field, and Douglas 
was again returned, this time by a larger majority 
than before. A petition was then lodged against him 
for bribery and treating. 

The trial took place before Mr. Baron Channell, at the 
latter end of December, 1870, and lasted four days. The 
counsel for the petitioners were Mr. Serjeant Ballantine, 
and the Honourable Chandos Leigh, who were instructed 
by Messrs. Wyatt and Hoskins ; and, for the sitting 
Member, Mr. Hardinge-Giffard, Q.C., Mr. Poland, and 
myself; we being instructed by Mr. Frank Greenfield, 
who was one of Douglas's most intimate friends. 


Of course the Judge and the opposing counsel were 
bound to do their duty in their respective spheres, 
but I cannot help thinking that they were, from the 
first, disposed to entertain the hope that the petition 
would fail. Douglas Straight was a universal favourite. 
Again, who could fail to admire the pluck and ability 
with which he, a young man only just called to the 
Bar and only three-and-twenty years of age, had fought 
so strongly contested a battle as that of Shrewsbury, 
and come off with flying colours ? 

The sitting Member, Poland, Hardinge-Giffard, and 
myself, travelled together to Shrewsbury by the Great 
Western. We put up at the " Raven Hotel," and, 
save for the anxiety that we felt on behalf of our friend, 
we had a very jolly time. I often think of a somewhat 
amusing incident, involving some questions of pro- 
fessional etiquette, which took place on the day of 
our arrival at this ancient city. Hardinge-Giffard was 
always one of the greatest possible sticklers for the 
performance of the duties that are expected from a 
junior. One of these duties on an occasion such as 
that to which I am alluding, is to attend to the eating 
and drinking department namely, the ordering of 
meals, etc., for the whole party, who occupy a sitting- 
room in common. 

I was an inveterate smoker, and if there was one 
thing that Giffard hated more than another, it was 
the smell of tobacco. Shortly after our arrival at 
the hotel, I brought down to the sitting-room a large 


box of cigars. These caught the eye of the future 
Lord Chancellor, who said : " What are you going to 

J O O 

do with them ? " I simply replied : " They are my 
cigars ; I brought them down, as I always smoke 
after dinner." Giffard then said : "You certainly won't 
smoke here." I merely remarked that sufficient unto 
the day was the evil thereof, and that we would see 
about that after dinner. Well, when the meal was 
over, I knowing what a good-natured fellow I had 
to deal with filled my cigar-case from my box, and, 
with a grin, was about to light up. My leader at 
once said: "I assure you, I am in earnest. As I said 
before, you are not to smoke here." I replied : " Well, 
where am I to smoke ? It would never do for me, as 
counsel in an election petition, to go into the ordinary 
smoking-room, where I might meet anybody ; and I 
certainly do not intend to smoke in the yard of the 
hotel." " I really don't care for that," said he ; " as 
I observed before, you will not smoke here." 

It was snowing hard. The winter that year was 
a very severe one, and the weather was cold even for 
the end of September. Nevertheless, the position had 
to be faced, so, bouncing out of the room, I put on 
my waterproof, and in a few moments was enjoying 
the fragrance of my weed, as best I could, on the 
pavement outside the hotel. 

It was another of my leader's fads that he would 
not commence breakfast until his junior put in an 
appearance. The next morning I determined to be 


even with him. I never ate breakfast ; he never 
tolerated tobacco, so we were on equal ground. The 
Court had to sit at ten. 

In vain did the chambermaid come up to my room, 
at stated intervals, with the message that breakfast was 
waiting. Never before did I take so long over my 
toilet. At about five minutes to ten I strolled down 
to the breakfast-room. This, I knew, would leave me 
just sufficient time to get into Court before the com- 
mencement of the proceedings, for the Court House was 
only just opposite the hotel. 

I found Giffard seated in an arm-chair before an 
enormous fire. The breakfast grilled fish and other 
delicacies was placed in the fender. The tea had not 
yet been brewed. My leader looked in a rage ; he 
must have been only acting, however, for in all my 
life I never saw him seriously out of temper. I knew, 
he declared, just as well as he did, what his rules were ; 
I knew that he had been waiting breakfast for me. 
It was my duty to be down in time to make the tea ; 
and, in consequence of my laziness, he would have to 
go to Court without any breakfast at all. " But," I 
casually remarked, " I never eat breakfast I don't care 
about it." " Well," he rejoined, " you are, I think, the 
most selfish fellow I ever came across." " Oh dear no," 
I said ; " you forget the smoking yesterday. You don't 
smoke. I can't see the difference." 

He burst out laughing, and we proceeded forthwith 
into Court. The matter, however, did not stop here. 

VOL. I. T 


As I observed before, it was my duty to order dinner. 
At midday, for this purpose, I interviewed the landlady 
of the hotel. I ordered everything that money could 
procure within the limited resources of Shrewsbury. 

The dinner-hour arrived, and never shall I forget 
the faces of my two learned friends as dish succeeded 
dish in apparently endless rotation. At last Giffard 
could stand it no longer. " Good God ! " he exclaimed, 
" what is the meaning of this ; the dinner will never end." 
Then turning to me, he added : " What in the world 
have you been doing ? " " My duty," I replied. " You 
are master of the apartment, but the dinner business 
devolves upon me." And that night, when the meal 
was over, I remained by the fire, and smoked my cigar. 

It was on Saturday afternoon that we arrived in 
Shrewsbury, and the trial commenced on the Monday 
morning. When Serjeant Ballantine commenced his 
opening, the Court was crowded, especially with ladies, 
among whom the sitting Member appeared to be a 
general favourite. The Serjeant began by paying a 
very high compliment to his learned friend, Douglas 
Straight. Proceeding to enumerate the cases of alleged 
bribery, he suggested that several leading members of 
the Corporation, who were Conservatives, had taken 
an active part in influencing the voters, mentioning 
in this connection a Mr. Groves, who was a popular 
member of the Town Council. He exonerated Mr. 
Straight entirely from any personal treating, and re- 
marked that, though the borough was essentially a. 


Liberal one, the Corporation was thoroughly Con- 
servative in its character. He said that its members 
had used influence of every kind with a view to the 
return of the Conservative candidate, and that pressure 
had especially been rput upon the humbler classes a 
circumstance that he ventured to designate as improper 
in the extreme, and deserving to meet with severe 
reprobation. He called particular attention to the 
conduct of Walter Whitmore, a Captain of the Militia, 
who it was alleged had, upon the clay of the election, 
gone down the road to some men who were employed ex- 
cavating some gas-pipes, and had treated them, afterwards 
accompanying them, to within a short distance of the 
polling-booth. This gentleman, the learned counsel 
declared, would be clearly identified by his dress, and 
by the circumstance of his having worn a white hat. 
The next case, Serjeant Ballantine said, was one of 
undoubted importance, and one in which, he was afraid, 
his lordship would have to exercise his powers in a 
way that would be anything but pleasant to the parties 
concerned. The mayor of the borough and his sons 
were implicated. The learned counsel next called 
attention to certain cases of treating, more especially 
to what he described as the " Dun Cow " supper. The 
"Dun Cow," he explained, was a public-house in 
the town, and Mr. Townsend, its proprietor, was an 
enthusiastic supporter of the Conservative cause. A 
reverend gentleman was in the habit once a year of 
giving a supper to his tenants at the " Dun Cow." 

T 2 


It was an extraordinary thing that the liberality of 
landlords became very great when an election was 

taking place. As a rule, the reverend gentleman 
gave the annual treat to his tenantry at an early 
period of the year ; but, on this occasion, the supper 
had been arranged to take place on the eve of the 
Parliamentary contest. The invitation to the supper 
was, the Serjeant declared, accompanied by that which 
was " likely to give the tenants an excellent appetite 
the shaking of a bag of money in their faces." After 
supper Mr. Straight's health was drunk, and such 
an effect had the bag of money, the meal, or some 
mysterious influence, had upon the company that, though 
it was composed of a number of persons who had always 
voted Liberal, all present were suddenly seized with 
the determination to support Mr. Straight a deter- 
mination which, the Serjeant added, had been carried 
into effect. To judge, he said, from his own experience, 
on a convivial occasion of that character, a bond of unity 
was created among the guests, and they would have 
been ashamed to look one another in the face if, after 
what had occurred, they had failed to exercise their 
franchise in the way they had promised. 

The learned Judge here interposed, and remarked : 
" There are some promises that are like something else 
they are made to be broken ; " at which the public in 
the gallery, as is usual on such occasions, laughed. 

Ballantine went on to refer to other cases of alleged 
treating, and concluded his address at about four 


o'clock, having been speaking all clay. The Court then 
adjourned until the morrow. 

I do not propose to go through the evidence in 
detail. Witnesses were called who in the main proved 
the learned Serjeant's opening. Before the case con- 
cluded, however in consequence of certain witnesses 
not being quite up to the mark Ballantine withdrew 
several of the charges. Considerable amusement was 
caused while evidence was being given as to the "Dun 
Cow" supper. In cross-examination by Mr. Giffard, a 
witness was asked whether the company had drunk 
the health of Mr. Straight. A reply having been 
given in the affirmative, the further question was put 
to him as to whether the health of the Queen had 
not also been drunk. The witness said that he could 
not remember, and upon being pressed as to whether 
the "Church and State" had not been drunk, he replied 
that he did not know what was meant by the question. 
Upon this the Serjeant observed: "You are a con- 
sistent Conservative ; " at which the occupants of the 
public gallery again laughed. 

Mr. Giffard called his witnesses, one of whom was 
Captain Walter Whitmore, who positively denied that 
he was the mysterious man in the white hat. My 
leader made a most excellent speech, and, I think, put 
the Serjeant rather upon his mettle ; for when the latter 
came to reply, all the consideration for Straight which 
he had previously shown, had disappeared. I am bound 
to say, indeed, that the Serjeant did his best to win. 


We found it almost impossible, during Ballantine's 
address, to keep the sitting Member quiet. From his 
seat underneath the counsel, he kept turning round to 
me and vowing the most dreadful vengeance against 
Ballantine ; observing that he certainly had not ex- 
pected this from the Serjeant, who had been his 
father's oldest friend. He, of course, also indulged 
in the usual threat that he would never speak to 
Ballantine as long as he lived. Altogether Giffard 
and I had the greatest difficulty in suppressing this 
hot-headed young gentleman. 

The Serjeant ended his reply at about one o'clock. 
The good-natured old Judge, looking at the sitting 
Member with a twinkle in his eye, said that, as he 
did not wish anybody to pass a sleepless night, he 
would not adjourn the case until the following morn- 
ing, but would give his decision at four o'clock that 

The intervening hours were very anxious ones for 
me 3 for I felt as much interest in the issue as though 
I had been personally concerned. At four o'clock the 
Court reassembled, and from the good-tempered ex- 
pression on Baron Channell's face, as he took his seat 
upon the Bench, I felt convinced that all was well. 
His lordship summed up with considerable force, and 
in an exhaustive way. Having disposed of most of 
the allegations, he proceeded: "And now we come 
to the ' Dun Cow ' supper." A kind of cold shiver ran 
through us all, for this was the rock on which we 

j * 


feared the vessel might split. However, after giving 
a strange ruling: of his own as to what constituted 

O O 

an agent, he observed, with regard to the supper itself, 
that, though he did not think it sufficient to unseat 
the respondent, it would undoubtedly have been far 
better had it never taken place. In the end he found : 
firstly, that Mr. Straight was duly elected ; secondly, 
that there was no reason to believe that, at the last 
election, any considerable bribery or corruption took 
place ; and, thirdly, that the petitioners should bear 
the costs. The result was hailed with vociferous 
applause, the ladies in the gallery testifying their 
delight by waving their handkerchiefs. The enthusiasm 
was caught up by the crowds in the square, and on 
the appearance of the honourable Member and his 
friends outside the hall, he was received with successive 
rounds of hurrahs. 

In the evening, we all proceeded to the Music Hall, 
where an enormous concourse of persons was assembled. 
Douglas made a speech, and afterwards we adjourned 
to supper at the house of one of his principal sup- 

We returned to "The Kaven" at about two o'clock 
in the morning. It was snowing hard as we proceeded 
thither; and the joys of the evening terminated by 
the sitting Member and myself having a remarkably 
fine snow-ball fight around the gravestones in Shrews- 
bury churchyard. 



I am instructed to prosecute Eobert Cook, whom I have met 
before How he wronged the poor widow She had no money 
for a Christmas dinner I "go for " the accused with a 
vengeance Ballantine can't understand it The jury return a 
verdict of " Guilty," and Cook's carriage drives away empty I 
sign a petition, and the sentence is mitigated The Wood Green 
murder Description of the crime The dinners at the Central 
Criminal Court A chaplain's choice observation A jewel 
robbery How the thieves gagged the assistant A theatrical 
effect in the box -The Stratford murder A damning piece 
of evidence The murderer's confession. 

IT will be well remembered that in one of my early 
chapters I mentioned certain matters connected with 
a money-lender of the name of Robert Cook. I stated 
that I owed him a debt, and that I paid it with interest. 
The circumstances under which this payment took place 
I will now proceed to narrate. 

A lady of the name of Hall considered that she had 
been defrauded of certain property, and consulted a 
solicitor. That solicitor sought my advice ; and the 
result was the issue of a summons, from Marlborough 
Street Police Court, against Cook, for unlawfully, and 


by false pretences, causing the said Hall to execute 
a deed assigning her interest in some property to 
himself, and for converting to his own use a certain 
policy of insurance. I appeared as prosecuting counsel 
at the preliminary investigation before Mr. Knox. 
The defendant was committed for trial at the next 
Sessions of the Central Criminal Court, but admitted to 

Cook had become a man of very considerable wealth, 
and he had a son in the army, commanding one of 
Her Majesty's regiments of infantry. The money-lender, 
indeed, had attained to a very respectable position, and 
he kept up a large establishment in one of the most 
fashionable squares in the West End. 

While I was opening the case before the magistrate, 
I could not help remembering under what different 
circumstances the defendant and I had met previously ; 
and it was easy to see that his memory, as to the 
events alluded to, was as vivid as my own. The 
case was ultimately tried before the Common Serjeant. 
I conducted the prosecution, while Serjeant Ballantine 
and Messrs. Metcalfe and Poland were counsel for the 
defence. The story was a very painful one. The 
prosecutrix stated that she was a widow, and that her 
late husband had had some financial dealings with the 
defendant. Five children were left upon her hands. 
Shortly after her husband's death, she came up to 
London to ask the defendant's advice on some monetary 
matters. She brought with her a policy of insurance 


for 250 on her husband's life. Cook, it appeared, 
-after expressing his deep regret at the loss she had 
sustained, said, in reference to the policy : " Leave this 
with me, and I will get the money for you, free of 
expense." She did as he desired. This happened 
somewhere about May, 1868. She went to him again 
on the 10th of December. Her little boy at the time 
was very ill, and dying. She begged him to give 
her some of the money. He gave her a cheque for 50, 
and made her sign a deed assigning over the policy 
to him, the consideration money appearing on the face 
of it to be 200. She was also induced to sign several 
other papers. When Cook gave her the 50, he told 
her to be very careful of it, as money was very slippery, 
and soon passed through the hands. She deposed that 
she did not know at the time that she was making 
an absolute conveyance of the policy. Had she imagined 
that the document placed before her was in the nature 
of an absolute conveyance, she would not have signed 
it. At the next interview she had with him, she asked 
for some more money, and, after some conversation, he 
gave her a cheque for 10. On this and other occa- 
sions she kept asking why she did not receive the 
200 due to her. He was always very much annoyed 
when she asked him for money, and finally told her 
that the whole of the balance had been absorbed in 
expenses, and that he could not give her anything 
more. She deposed that she became miserably poor, 
and that, when Christmas Day came, she had not a 


scrap of food for dinner. She applied again to Cook, and 
die said that he was very sorry, but that he could not help 
her. All that she had received for the policy was 65. 

The unfortunate lady was severely cross-examined 
by Ballantine, but he failed to elicit from her anything 
that could be of service to his client. Other evidence 
was adduced on behalf of the prosecution, and, Ballantine 
having made his speech, I rose to reply. I did so with 
a vengeance, and when I came to draw a picture of the 
helpless widow with her starving children ; of the appeal 
made to the money-lender to obtain a few shillings with 
which to buy a Christmas dinner ; of how this appeal 
had been met ; and of how, like a spider, this usurer 
and extortioner had lured the unfortunate fly into his 
web when, I say, I drew this picture, I could see, from 
the demeanour of the jury, what the result would be. 

I had noticed that while I was addressing the jury, 
astonishment was written large on the Serjeant's face. 
When I resumed my seat, he turned to me, and said : 
"My dear Montagu, you've been desperately hard on 
that man. I never heard you conduct a prosecution in 
that way before." I could not help replying : " Indeed ! 
Well, the truth is, I had a little account to settle with, 
that gentleman myself." 

After the Judge had summed up, the jury returned 
a verdict of " Guilty ;" and the accused was sentenced 
to twelve months' imprisonment. 

I should mention that when, on arriving at the Old 
Bailey that morning, I passed through the courtyard 


where the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs alight, I saw there 
a magnificent carriage, to which was harnessed a pair 
of splendid horses, and from which I observed my old 
friend Eobert Cook descend. The trial finished late 
in the afternoon, and, as I retraced my steps through 
the courtyard to proceed home, I again saw the mag- 
nificent carriage standing there. The coachman had 
been instructed to return and fetch his master. The 
vehicle, however, drove away empty. 

A month or so after the trial a petition was prepared 
for presentation to the Home Secretary, praying for a 
mitigation of the sentence passed on Koberfc Cook, on. 
the ground of his ill-health. His son called upon me 
at my chambers, in a state of terrible distress, and 
asked me to add my name to the signatories. I did 
so ; and in about two months' time the prisoner was 

It was during the same session that I was retained 
as prosecuting counsel in a rather remarkable case of 
murder, tried before Mr. Justice Byles. It was 
known as the Wood Green murder. The prisoner, 
whose name was Frederick Hinson, was defended by 
Dr. Kenealy, Q.C., and Mr. Warner Sleigh. Hinson 
was indicted for the wilful murder of Maria Death, 
who had been living with him as his wife for eight 
or nine years. She had had six children by him. 
Hinson had been very much attached to the deceased, 
and was a sober and industrious man. He had always 
regarded her as his wife, and treated her as such. 


One day the woman went to London with a man 
named Boyd, who was a neighbour of theirs. They 
had returned between five and six o'clock. It appeared 
that the prisoner, rightly or wrongly, was very jealous 
of Boyd. Soon after the woman's return, she was seen 
running along the roadway, the prisoner being in 
pursuit of her. Overtaking her, he caught her by the 
waist, and took her towards Nella Cottage, where they 
resided. On arriving there, they entered, and presently 
the report of firearms was heard, accompanied by a 
scream. The two were perceived at the bottom of 
their garden ; the poor woman was seen to fall, and 
the sound of blows was heard. The prisoner was then 
observed, a gun-barrel in his hand, coming from the 
spot. He left the cottage, saying: 

" I have shot her there is no mistake. I will now 
kill the other/' 

He was seen to proceed, still with the barrel in 
his hand, towards the cottage that was occupied by 
Boyd. The prisoner entered the dwelling, and presently 
he came out again, saying : 

" He is dead enough. That's what happens when 
a man goes with another man's wife. Where are the 
police ? " 

On the cottage being subsequently entered, Boyd 
was found lying dead upon the floor, his head being 
literally smashed in. 

Hinson was taken into custody at his own residence. 
He was found kneeling by the body of the dead woman. 


A constable said : " Who did it ? " The prisoner re- 
plied : " I did." He walked quietly to the Police Station. 

Hinson's advocate did all he could, but the evidence 
was most conclusive, and the prisoner was eventually 
sentenced to death. 

It was a custom in those days for the Lord Mayor 
and Sheriffs to give a dinner every Monday and 
Wednesday during the time that the Sessions were 
held, at the Central Criminal Court. The meal was 
a very sumptuous one, especially upon the Wednesdays, 
for then Her Majesty's Judges, who had attended the 
Sessions, were the principal guests. The City Judges 
and leading members of the Bar were always invited, 
as well as any distinguished men and there were 
always some such who had business at the Sessions. 
The chaplair.-in-ordiuary at Newgate, was a stout, 
sensual-looking man, who seemed as though he were 
literally saturated with City feasts. Arrayed in his 
clerical robes, it was part of his duty, when the 
solemn sentence of death was pronounced by the Judge, 
to utter the last word : " Amen." It frequently 
happened as it did upon the occasion of the trial of 
Frederick Hinson that the Jury retired to consider 
their verdict, at about five o'clock, or half-past, in the 
afternoon, which was the hour at which the dinners to 
which I have alluded were given. The Judges, counsel, 
and guests, would repair upstairs to these prandial 
entertainments, and would frequently be called down 
in the middle of their repast for the sentence of death 


to be passed upon some wretched criminal. When 
the death sentence had been pronounced upon the 
man Hinson, and as we were all retracing our steps 
to the dining-room, the chaplain-in-ordinary turned 
to me, -and, in a voice that was broken, though not 
with emotion, said : " Well, Williams, so you've 
bagged your bird." I must confess that I was horri- 
fied. This person was a very different man from 
his successor, Mr. Jones, who destroyed his health 
and utterly broke down under the severe strain which 
his duties as prison chaplain imposed upon him. 

A trial took place about which I got considerably 
chaffed. It was the trial of Martha Torpey, for a 
jewel robbery. It took place before Mr. Russell Gurney. 
Messrs. Metcalfe and Straight conducted the prose- 
cution, while I, with Mr. Horace Brown as my junior, 
conducted the defence. 

The prisoner, a very good-looking, engaging woman, 
was exceedingly well dressed. She carried in her arms 
a very pretty baby, only a few months old ; and I 
think that this interesting little person had a good 
deal to do with the subsequent finding of the jury. 
I was chaffed because it was said that the theatrical 
effect in the dock had been arranged by me. As a 
matter of fact, I had had nothing to do with it. 

The evidence went to show that an assistant from 
a firm of jewellers in Bond Street, in consequence of 
a message received at the shop, went to 4, Upper 
Berkeley Street, taking with him five or six thousand 


pounds' worth of jewellery. The door was opened by 
the gentleman who had called at the shop, and who 
had given his name as Mark Tyrell. He apologised for 
the absence of his servant, and at once showed the 
assistant into a room on the ground-floor, whence the 
two afterwards proceeded to the drawing-room. A 
photograph of the man was produced in Court. It was 
alleged to be a photograph of the man Mark Tyrell, 
who, however, turned out to be Torpey, the prisoner's 

It appeared that, when the assistant entered the 
drawing-room, he saw the prisoner sitting there by 
the fire. She remained seated while he took out of 
his bag the jewellery that he had brought with him, 
and which included a necklace of the value of 1,100. 
The man admired this necklace, and said that he should 
like his wife to have it, as well as other articles. More 
jewellery, to the value of 2,600, was extracted from 
the bag and placed upon the table. Torpey turned to 
his wife and said : "I think your sister ought to see 
these things. Go and fetch her." She left the room 
and returned in a few minutes, remarking that her 
sister would be down in a moment. She then went 
quickly up to the assistant, and, getting behind him, 
placed a handkerchief saturated with something over 
his face and mouth. Torpey simultaneously rushed 
forward and seized him, exclaiming : " If you 
move, I will murder you." In giving his evidence 
the assistant stated that he " then went off into a 


kind of trance." On partially regaining consciousness, 
he found that a couple of straps had been fastened 
over his body, and that a cloth was tied over his eyes. 
He heard the man say : " Quick, Lucy, give me my 
hat." The next minute the street-door slammed. 
After a little while, he managed to remove the straps 
and bandage, whereupon he broke the window and 
called for assistance. 

It appeared that the prisoner had engaged the 
premises by means of false references. At the time 
of the robbery, according to the assistant, she was 
most fashionably attired. Her arrest took place at 
Southampton. All efforts to trace the husband had 
been unsuccessful. 

At the conclusion of the case for the prosecution, 
I submitted that the fact of the prisoner being indicted, 
not as a femme sole, but as the wife of Torpey, rendered 
it unnecessary for me to call witnesses to prove the 
marriage ; and that, as she had acted in the presence, 
and therefore under the compulsion, of her husband, 
she was, according to the authorities, entitled to an 
acquittal. A long legal discussion took place upon the 
point. The other side contended that as the prisoner 
had committed violence in placing the handkerchief 
over the assistant's mouth, she must be held responsible 
for the act, in spite of the fact that her husband was 
present. The Recorder ruled that it would be necessary 
for me to prove that the woman acted under her 
husband's compulsion. I therefore proceeded to address 

VOL. I. tf 


the jury, strongly commenting on the cowardice of the 
man who had fled from justice, leaving his wife with 
a helpless little infant in her arms, to bear the brunt 
of the robbery which he had planned, and of which 
he was no doubt at that very moment enjoying the 
proceeds. The more eloquent I grew, the louder the 
prisoner sobbed and cried. I thought at the time 
that this grief was in consequence of the picture I 
was painting of the brutal husband ; but I subsequently 
learnt from the solicitor that she was grieved because 
of the abuse I was showering upon the partner of her 
life, of whom she was exceedingly fond. The woman 
received a very good character, and the jury expressed 
their belief that the whole thing had been prearranged 
by the husband, and that the prisoner had acted under 
his coercion, and therefore was not guilty. The case 
created a great stir, and was mentioned in Parliament 
with a view to a change being made in the law. 

At a subsequent session, in the same year, a some- 
what curious trial for murder took place. The crime 
arose out of a burglary, and this is, according to my 
observation, a very rare occurrence. Your burglar as 
a rule does not kill. So long as he confines himself 
to theft, he knows that the worst he can suffer is a 
term of penal servitude, and he is by no means willing 
to risk his neck. 

The case I am about to mention affords, as I have 
said, an exception to the rule just alluded to. Two 
men, Campbell and Galbraith, were indicted for the 


wilful murder of a man named Galloway. Messrs. 
Poland and Beasley conducted the case for the Crown 
on behalf of the Treasury authorities ; I defended 
Campbell ; and Mr. Warner Sleigh represented Galbraith. 
The Judge was Mr. Justice Lush, and the case was 
known as the Stratford murder. The deceased had 
lived with his wife and niece at Oxford Villa, Ilford 

A great deal of evidence was taken, and the principal 
question in dispute was one of identity. The prosecution 
endeavoured to show that the prisoners had been seen 
in the immediate neighbourhood of Oxford Villa on the 
night of the outrage. Among other things stated by 
the witnesses was that, on the day in question, Campbell 
was observed climbing up the portico of the house, and 
peering into the front garden. He was a very peculiar 
man in appearance, and several witnesses identified him 
by the mark or hole under his left eye. The evidence 
against Galbraith was very weak, and so far as he was 
concerned, the case was stopped before the prosecution 
was closed. The principal witness to the murder was 
the dead man's wife, and anything more painful than 
her presence in the box has never come under my 
notice. She was labouring under great emotion, and all 
she kept saying was : " He had a scar on his face." 
Every one turned as she said this towards the prisoner, 
and there the scar was, sure enough. It was of course 
damning evidence. On somewhat regaining her com- 
posure, she stated that her husband, having retired 

u 2 


from business, was living on his means. On the night 
in question, having securely fastened all the doors, they 
went upstairs to go to bed. On a sudden they heard 
a noise, which caused them some alarm. Her husband 
went downstairs, and in a few minutes she followed him. 
The street-door was open, and she went out into the 
road, where she found her husband having high words 
with two men. He was accusing them of attempting to 
break into his house. She was positive that Campbell 
was one of the two men. She looked around anxiously 
for a policeman, and when she turned her eyes once more 
upon the disputants, she perceived Campbell draw an 
instrument from his breast. He drew back as if to 
take aim, and then she saw the instrument strike her 
husband in the eye. The injured man, with an 
exclamation, staggered backwards, and fell to the 
ground. The two burglars then ran away in the 
direction of Ilford, and, on passing a lamp-post, 
Campbell halted for a moment and looked round. 
Immediately an alarm was raised, the neighbours came 
out into the roadway, and the injured man was con- 
veyed into the house, where he died before the arrival 
of a surgeon. The witness went on to say that, shortly 
afterwards, she went to the police-station and saw a 
number of men together. Among the number she. 
identified Campbell. 

The unfortunate lady was in such terrible grief, 
that I hesitated as to what course I should adopt in 
regard to her. Finally I decided to put no questions 


to her. Fortunately, however, for the ends of justice, 
she was not allowed to leave the box at once. The 
Judge asked her whether or no she was absolutely 
certain that Campbell was the man she had seen attack 
her husband, and she answered : " We lived together 
happily for years. I saw the man who killed him. 
Do you think it possible, my lord, that I should 
ever forget that face ? " The argument indeed was 

In the end, Campbell was found guilty. Upon 
being asked by the Clerk of Arraigns whether he 
had anything to say why sentence of death should 
not be passed upon him, he replied : " My lord, I must 
acknowledge I have been justly found guilty. I never 
intended to strike him in the eye ; the blow was made 
for his shoulder, for at that moment he was holding 
my mate. He must have moved, and received the blow 
in his eye. I am sorry for it, and I hope that God will 
forgive me." 



C. W. Mathews : the best pupil I ever had" Faithful William "- 
The work a counsel in large practice has to do Story of two 
Jews who raised my fee They expected a "nice long day" 
I discover a legal flaw, and their friend is promptly acquitted 
They are disappointed " Flash Fred " He is charged with 
forgery, and I defend him His running comments during the 
case He forgets the second indictment, but the Bench doesn't 
How " Flash Fred " got a railway ticket for nothing Rumour 
associates him with the theft of Lord Hastings' betting-book 
Remarkable speech by a Queen's Counsel The countrymen in 
the jury-box commence to weep " "We finds for Muster C ." 

AT the latter end of 1868 the very best pupil I ever 
had came into my chambers. It was C. W. Mathews. 
Some little while before, when I had been only a few 
years at the Bar, Charles Mathews, with whom I had 
been on intimate terms for a long period, spoke to me 
about his boy, who was then at Eton. He said : "I 
mean to send him to the Bar. I think he is very smart 
and will do well, but I want you to grant me a favour, 
and, as we are very old friends, I think you'll do it. 
His mother and I have been talking over his future, 
and we have decided that we should like him to go- 

C. W. MATHEWS. 295 

into your chambers. "Will you take him ? " As a 
matter of course my reply to an old friend was in 
the affirmative. I do not think that young Mathews 
has altered in appearance from that day to this. He 
was then quite an old-fashioned little gentleman, but 
with all the manner and tone which I have always 
considered peculiar to Eton. 

He remained with me until 1879, and, as what is 
termed a " devil," was of the greatest possible service 
to me. In this book I had not intended to say much 
about those who are still practising, but I must break 
my rule in this particular instance. I always predicted 
of young Mathews that he would take a foremost place 
in his profession, and from what I have gathered, during 
the last two years, my prophecy seems to be in a fail- 
way of being fulfilled. 

I really believe that young Mathews could tell more 
about me than I am able to do myself, for he was my 
alter ego. I am bound to say that any kindness I may 
have shown to him in the past, was amply repaid by 
the tender friendship that he showed me in the mis- 
fortune that befell me in 1886. 

My pupils generally turned out well, but I think I 
may say that young Mathews was the best of the lot. 
I often think of a story that he tells about a case that 
took place soon after he was called to the Bar, and at a 
time when I was in very large practice. It was a case of 
conspiracy, in which two Jews were associated with the 
defendant. I had been very much harassed one day 


at the Central Criminal Court. I may say, indeed, that 
no one who is not in the swim can have any conception 
of the amount of work and worry that devolves upon a 
counsel in leading practice at the criminal Bar. He 
has to be at chambers at nine o'clock in the morning, 
and, an hour later, he has to be at his post. Several 
Courts sit simultaneously, and possibly he has a case 
going on in each of them at the same time. He has 
to do the best he can, with the assistance of juniors 
and " devils." In one Court, perhaps, he will open the 
case, in the next, cross-examine the principal witness, 
in the third, make the speech for the defence ; and all 
this while he has to keep in touch with the various 
cases, and from time to time make himself acquainted 
with the course they are taking. When the Courts 
adjourn at five, he returns to chambers for consulta- 
tions, etc., which occupy him probably until half-past 
seven o'clock, when he rushes home to snatch a hasty 
dinner, after which he reads his briefs for the follow- 
ing day. Sometimes he has to keep up half the 
night perusing his papers, and, not unfrequently, when 
he gets to bed, his brain is too much occupied to allow 
him to sleep. 

It was after a particularly busy day that the in- 
cidents occurred to which I am about to allude. I was 
sitting at my desk reading one brief, while Mathews 
and a fellow-devil were noting up another. My second 
clerk, who had been with me since he was a lad of 
twelve, was named William, and in regard to him I 


may remark, in passing, that a better assistant no 
man ever had. I always used to call him " Faithful 

On the night in question, he came to me with a 
brief in his hand, and said : 

;< Case to come on to-morrow morning. Mr. 

the solicitor" (mentioning the name), "is outside with 
his clients. They are two Jews, and they want to have 
a conference at once and attend it personally." 

I was full up for the morning, but 1 looked at 
that which always catches the barrister's eye, namely, 
the endorsement of the fee on the brief, and per- 
ceiving that the figure was not a very large one 
eight guineas, if I remember aright I said : 

' Take it back. Let somebody else have it. I 
can't do it, I haven't the time." 

"William left the room, but in a short time returned. 
In his absence I had heard a conversation going on 
in the clerk's room which grew louder and louder. 
William said : 

" Will you see them, sir ? " 

I replied : 

" Certainly not ; what do they want ? I have 
already told you I'll have nothing to do with it. The 
size of the brief is anything but commensurate with 
the size of the fee." 

"Well, sir," William said; "I don't think it's 
a question of money. I think, if you will allow me 
to suggest a proper fee for such a brief, the matter 


will be settled. It will be parting with their heart's 
blood, but I think they will do it." 
Turning round wearily, I said : 
" Do what you like," whereupon he left the room. 
Presently he returned with the brief, the " eight 
guineas " having been erased, and a much larger figure 
put in its place. 

" Well," I said, " what is the meaning of this ? " 
"It's all right, sir," he said, "the cheque has 
been paid, but you must see them. Shall I show 
them in ? ' 

I assented, and the next minute William ushered 
the two Jews and the solicitor into my presence. The 
former were very polished gentlemen as far as grease 

My visitors having sat down, I perceived that 
the alteration on the brief had apparently had a 
considerable effect upon them, for they were as pale 
as death. I went through the papers hurriedly. It 
was the old story fraud, conspiracy, and false pre- 
tences. Owing to the rapidity with which I had 
to run through the brief, I could gather but a small 
insight into the matter. Therefore, when the two Jews, 
who had been watching me intently, asked, eagerly : 
" What do you think of it, sir ? " 
I replied : 

" Well, I really don't know what to say. When 
is the case to be tried ? '' 

li It's the first one for to-morrow, sir," they answered. 


"Very well," I said, "I'll take the papers home 
with me, and you had better instruct your solicitor 
to have a further talk over the matter in the morning ; 
say at 9.30. I must have a junior. It's quite im- 
possible for me to be in this particular Court during 
the whole of the time. I can be there when the 
case is opened on behalf of the prosecution, but 
I must have somebody to watch the witnesses, and, 
if necessary, cross-examine them. All I can undertake 
to do is to make the speech." 

" Who shall we have, sir ? " said one of the Jews ; 
" there is so little time." 

It is contrary to etiquette at the Bar, for counsel 
to name their own juniors ; nevertheless, somehow 
or other, before the Jews left, my young friend 
Mathews had been instructed as my junior. I think 
it was one of his first briefs. 

After the departure of my visitors, I begged 
Mathews to run through the papers as well as he 
could that night. There had, of course, been no time 
to prepare a second brief, so I lent him mine, with 
instructions to come to me at half-past eight on the 
following morning and put me in possession of the 
main facts. 

Mathews did as I directed. He had evidently taken 
a great deal of pains about the matter, for he had made 
a most exhaustive summary of the whole case. On 
going into it, I perceived that there was an absence of 
technical proof, and that, upon this rock, the prosecution 


would undoubtedly split. We went into Court, and 
there found the two Hebrew gentlemen, who had secured 
seats behind those reserved for the counsel. 

Almost as soon as the prisoner had been given in 
charge of the jury, the usher came to tell me that I 
must go at once into another Court. As I hurried away, 
the countenances of the two individuals just referred to, 
were a perfect marvel. I knew quite well that the case 
was safe in the hands of my junior. 

He subsequently told me that he overheard one Jew 
say to the other : " We're going to have a nice long 
day to-day," whereupon the other replied : "So we 
ought we've paid for it." 

The case proceeded, and as I knew exactly what was 
going to occur, I did not bother my head about it. 
Before leaving, I told Mathews to send for me as soon 
as the case for the prosecution had closed. In due 
time I received his message, and came into Court. 
The present Recorder, then Common Serjeant, was 
trying the case which circumstance gave me some 
satisfaction, for I knew that, among his numerous good 
qualities as a Judge, he possessed a most technical mind. 
I rose, and said : " My lord, there is no evidence to go 
to the jury;" and I proceeded to state my objection. 
The Common Serjeant listened patiently, and when I 
had finished, said, with a smile (for it was a gross case 
of fraud) : "Well, Mr. Poland " (for he was prosecuting) 
" what do you say to this ? " No one in the world was 
more capable of getting out of a difficulty than my 


learned friend ; but it was of no use. His lordship 
looked at me, and said : " Well, Mr. Williams, I am 
afraid your objection is fatal." Then he turned to the 
jury, and observed: "Gentlemen, you possibly won't 
understand what has been goinoj on. There is a leoral 

o o o 

difficulty in the way. The learned counsel for the 
prisoner has taken an objection, and I am bound to say, 
much as I regret it, it is a fatal one ; and it is your 
duty regardless of your conviction under my direction, 
for it is a matter entirely for me, to return a verdict 
of 'Not Guilty.' I confess," he added, mopping his 
eyes, " I'm exceedingly sorry, for a grosser case of fraud 
during the whole of my experience, both as counsel and 
Judge, which extends over a great number of years, I 
have never known; but my duty is plain, and so is 
yours, and you must return a verdict, if you please, of 
' Not Guilty.' : The jury, instead of at once obeying 
this mandate, turned round in the box and held a 
consultation. The Judge, who was never guilty of 
wasting time, then addressed himself to the foreman 
as follows : " You and the jury must take the law from 
me, much as you may regret it, and much as everybody 
must regret it. I am bound to tell you again that you 
have nothing at all to do with it. I direct you in law 
to say that the prisoner is ' Not Guilty.' ' Upon this, 
but with considerable reluctance, and with a face that 
certainly was not beaming with pleasure, the foreman 
did as he was directed. 

The case having thus ended prematurely, I heard 

302 ' FLASH FRED." 

one of the Jews say to the other : " Call this a long 
day ? Upon my soul, but we've been swindled." They 
evidently thought nothing of the acquittal of their 
friend. The mind of the Jew was, as usual, hankering 
after the money and the money's worth. 

It was somewhere about this time that a case oc- 
curred which was somewhat remarkable, not so much 
on account of the facts involved, as from the character 
of the individual who was principally concerned. This 
was a man very well known about London. His name 
was Frederick Fraser, and on the racecourses, and in 
the various fast quarters about town, he was known as 
" Flash Fred." He was charged with forgery, and I 
appeared as his counsel. In spite of the delinquencies 
of this person, I confess I took a considerable interest in 
him. This certainly did not arise from admiration of 
his character for a greater rascal never lived but there 
was something about him which influenced one. 

There were two indictments against the accused. 


The principal one, and that upon which he was first 
tried, was that of forging the name of Captain Candy, 
well known then, as he still is, by the sobriquet of 
" Sugar." 

The prisoner appeared in the dock dressed in the 
height of fashion. He was exceedingly good-looking, 
and would have passed anywhere as one of the youthful 
sparks of the day. The case having been opened for 
the prosecution, witnesses were called, and their testi- 
mony being pretty conclusive as against my client, I was 

THE ODDS. 303 

instructed to put into the box a great deal of evidence 
as to his character. That such witnesses should have 
been forthcoming may, on the face of it, strike the 
reader as a curious circumstance ; but perhaps I shall 
throw some light upon the mystery when I mention 
that those who entered the box were, for the most part, 
tailors from Bond Street, Clifford Street, Conduit Street, 
and other thoroughfares in the West End. 

I struggled hard, but the odds were terribly against 
me. Nevertheless, when I sat down, after delivering 
my speech, I fancied I had made some impression upon 
the jury. They duly retired to consider their verdict. 

I was sitting in my customary seat underneath the 
dock, and the prisoner leant over to me and said : " Mr. 
Montagu, do you think I have a thousand to one 
chance ? ' Turning round to him, I replied : " No." 
When an hour or so had elapsed, and no verdict had 
been returned, he again leant over towards me and said : 
"I think it's a ten to one chance now." At last the 
jurymen returned, and upon their faces there was not 
that expression of sad sternness which so frequently 
heralds a verdict adverse to the prisoner. While they 
were taking their places, the accused leant over to me 
for the third time, and quietly remarked : c< Sir, it's six 
to four on me now." 

He was right ; for a verdict of " Not Guilty " was 
returned. " Flash Fred's " face beamed with delight, 
and he surprised everybody by his immediate prepara- 
tions to leave the dock. In this, however, of course he 


was a little premature. It is not every prisoner who 
would forget that there was a second indictment against 
him ; but " Flash Fred's " memory was evidently not 
his strong point. He was arraigned again, and the case 
was duly proceeded with. The second barrel in these 
cases is usually deadly. The trial was a lengthy one, 
and the jury again retired. This time, when they re- 
turned into Court, it was with a verdict of " Guilty." 

Not addressing me, but apparently soliloquising, 
I overheard the convicted man murmur to himself: 
"Shocking bad luck beat by a head." However 
this might be, the whimsical occupant of the dock was 
sentenced to five years' penal servitude. 

In this connection I may relate another anecdote of 
" Flash Fred." About a year before the trial to which 
I have just referred, he was at the booking-office 
of the South-Western terminus, about to take his 
ticket for Chichester, he being desirous of attending the 
Goodwood Races. He occupied a rearward position in 
the long line of persons pressing forward to the ticket- 
hole, and it chanced that, some little way in front of 
him, stood George Payne. " Flash Fred " leant forward, 
and touching that gentleman on the shoulder, exclaimed : 
"Awful crowd behind here, George! Take a ticket for me, 
please." Mr. Payne, being unable, owing to the crowd, 
to see who it was that had addressed him, and never 
doubting that it was a friend of his, took an extra 
ticket, and handed it to the outstretched arm over the 
people's heads. The arm might have been again out- 


stretched to convey the necessary coin to the purchaser 
of the ticket ; but this is not what took place. Mr. Payne 
heard a voice say : " Thank you, George. Ta, ta ! See 
you at Goodwood ; " and he then perceived a man, 
disengaging himself from the crowd, disappear through 
a gateway. 

According to current report it was " Flash Fred " 
who, w T hen the Marquis of Hastings had a big winning 
account on the Derby, stole his lordship's betting-book 
from his pocket. The thief, whoever he was, knew that 
there were many thousands coming to the Marquis, and 
that he could not settle without his book. Nothing was 


heard of the stolen property until a reward of 500 was 
offered, and then it was restored to its owner, in return 
for that sum, on the condition that no questions should 
be asked. 

It is remarkable what the personal influence of counsel 
will do with the jury, especially in the country. On 
one occasion I went down to Worcester on the Oxford 
Circuit. They were not my Sessions, but I was specially 
retained. While I was waiting for my case to come on, 
I witnessed a striking illustration of the truth of that 
which I have just said. The leader of the Sessions 

was Mr. C , who was afterwards County Court 

Judge, and has since retired. These were the last 
Sessions in the county that he would attend, for he had 
just been made a Queen's Counsel. For a number of 
years he had been a leading man in the county, and he 
was a favourite with all classes. 

VOL. I. X 


C was defending a man for horse-stealing, and 

the evidence against the accused was of the most 
damning character. He had been seen in the imme- 
diate neighbourhood of the field from which the horse 
was stolen, shortly before the theft took place ; he was 
seen driving the animal from the spot ; and he was 
further identified as the man who subsequently sold the 
beast at Wycombe Fair. At the close of the prosecution, 

C addressed the jury in something like the following 

terms : " Gentlemen, I have been among you for a great 
many years. I was born in your county, and my people 
were with you for two or three generations. You have 
always been friendly with me, man and boy, and I don't 
think I have ever had an angry word with any of you. 
A change has now come over my life. Her Majesty 
has sent for me to make me one of her own counsel." 
The jurymen sat with open mouths, evidently under 
the impression that their favourite was about to be 
summoned to Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, or 
some other Royal residence, to have a tete-ct-tete with 

the Queen. Continuing, C said : "I shall never 

address you again. This is the last time my voice 
will be heard in your ancient hall." From the display 
of pocket-handkerchiefs at this point, I am under the 
impression that one or two of the jurymen were in 
tears. "Let us part," said the learned counsel, "as 
we have always been the best of friends ; " and without 
saying one single word as to the merits of the case 
before the jury, he sat down. The Chairman of the 


Quarter Sessions, in the due discharge of his duty, 
addressed himself to the evidence, ignoring entirely the 
observations that had fallen from the learned counsel 
for the defence. The jury put their heads together, 
and, after barely a moment's deliberation, turned round 
again. The foreman, with a peculiar shake of his head, 

said : " We finds for Muster C ." The Chairman 

informed the jury that their verdict must be either one 
of "Guilty " or "Not Guilty" as against the prisoner; 
whereupon, without waiting for their foreman, they all 
shouted out with one accord : " ' Not Guilty,' sir." The 
prisoner was accordingly duly released. 



I become a member of the Garrick Club Sir Charles Taylor An 
amateur music-hall performance H. J. Byron and his troupe 
of performing dogs Tlie Tally Tailygrapli The crime of 
dogicide Another election petition Astounding allegations 
I get worn out and determine to go fishing All the others 
insist upon coming My client couldn't fish, and wouldn't let 
me A midnight consultation Exciting chase after an eaves- 
dropper We determine to throw up the sponge I go to bed and 
have a troubled dream A frilled night-shirt " When you meet 
your client in h 11," etc. 

IN 1873 I became a member of the Garrick Club, 
where I had been a frequent visitor previously. I 
remember the days of the old building, when Thackeray, 
Dickens, Albert Smith, Arcedeckne, " Assassin Smith," 
and Benjamin Webster, were members ; and a very 
jovial place it was. The new premises were designed 
by one of the members, Nelson ; and a curious cir- 
cumstance was that, when the structure was nearly 
completed, it was discovered that the architect had 
forgotten all about the kitchens. When I joined, 
the principal man in the club was Sir Charles Taylor. 


I am bound to say that he bad done a great deal 
for the institution, by giving it financial assistance 
before debentures were raised and issued ; and in 
point of fact, he rather ruled the establishment. There 
are a great many persons living who will remember Sir 
Charles. His appearance was peculiar, being suggestive 
of one of the parrot tribe. He was rather overbearing 
in his manner, especially to those whom he considered 
beneath him socially. 

One day, on entering the club, he came across 
Dallas then a well known man on The Times 
eating his lunch. 

"Well, my penny-a-liner," said Sir Charles, "and 
how are you ? " 

Quick as lightning, Dallas replied : 
" Quite well, thank you, you one-eyed macaw." 
Every one who remembers Sir Charles Taylor will 
understand the allusion. 

The Garrick has always been, and still is, the 
cheeriest of clubs. Of late years a novelty has been, 
introduced into the customs there, principally in the 
interests of the actors for the leading members of 
the dramatic profession belong to the Garrick. The 
custom to which I allude is that of giving supper 
in the strangers' room, where one can take friends 
up to an early hour in the morning. 

The Garrick is the favourite haunt of Henry 
Irving, Toole, and a number of others who are not 


in the habit of counting the hours as they fly by 

Somewhere about the period when the trials to 
which I have recently been alluding took place, 
I assisted at one of the most jovial entertainments 
that I ever remember. An amateur music-hall per- 
formance took place at Woburn Lodge the house 
of my friends, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Lawson. The 
lower part of the premises was turned into a hall> 
with a bar and grill-room adjoining the latter being 
presided over by Spiers and Pond themselves ; and 
three or four young ladies, dressed as barmaids, took 
charge of the refreshment-room. Beer-engines con- 
nected with the cellar, and the supper was arranged 
precisely after the model of Evans'. A regular stage 
was erected in the rooms that were turned into a 
hall. Mr. Lindsay Sloper, the pianist, was musical 
conductor. The chairman seated at a mahogany 
table, hammer in hand was Mr. Edward Lawson. 

I will describe some of the principal items of the 
entertainment, so far as I can remember them. Poor 
H. J. Byron appeared as Professor Byron, with a troupe 
of performing dogs. They were small boys, borrowed, 
I imagine, from Drury Lane ; and so artfully were 
they attired, that they made excellent specimens of 
the canine race. Byron appeared in fancy costume, 
with a whip in his hand. A number of cards, with 
something written upon each, were strewn about the 
stage, and after the faithful creatures had gone through 


a number of performances such as jumping through 
hoops, and over chairs various questions were put to 
them, each of which they answered by picking up an 
appropriate card. Thus, one of the dogs was requested 
to state which paper he was in the habit of perusing, 
and he replied by picking up a piece of pasteboard 
on which was written "The Taily Taily graph." Another 
question that I remember being put to one of these 
learned quadrupeds was: "If you were tried for dogicide, 
what Judge would you prefer to be tried by ? " The 
card that was held up in response was inscribed with 
the name of " Mr. Commissioner Cur." There was 
a glee-company composed of Sir (then Mr.) Arthur 
Sullivan, Mr. Arthur Cecil, Freddy Clay, and Billy 
Pownall. I sang two comic songs, " Pretty Little 
Flora," and " Immensikoff." Douglas Straight sang 
41 Angelina was very fond of Soldiers," and "Good- 
bye, John, don't be long, but come back soon to 
your poor little chick-a-biddy." My wife gave, " Pretty 
Little Topsy," and another ballad. Two songs were 
also sung by Mr. Albert Levy, "Come and be a Member 
of the Rollicking Rams," and " Champagne Charlie." 
Mr. Alfred Maddick favoured the company with a 
conjuring entertainment ; while Shirley Brooks, the then 
editor of Punch, played the part among the audience 
of the dissatisfied visitor who was always finding fault 
with the performance. As will have been seen, I had, 
earlier in my career, had a good deal of theatrical 
experience ; but I can honestly say that this was the 


most successful entertainment at which I was ever 

I have mentioned some election petitions in which 
I appeared, but there is one to which I have omitted 

to refer. This was the petition against -, who was 

the sitting Member for . The case afforded me 

great amusement. 

"We were told that the trial was likely to last 
considerably over a week. It was summer-time, and 
this had been one of the hottest years that I ever 
remember. Good heavens ! what a town. Of all the 
horrible places at which I have ever stayed, this was 
the most horrible. A number of us appeared on behalf 
of the sitting Member. My brother juniors and I 
were located at the principal hotel in the town, while 

our leader, Mr. , pitched his temporary tabernacle 

at a town some few miles off. He had always had 
the character of being a remarkably crafty individual, 
and he proved the justice of the supposition on this 


According to the allegations of the petitioners,, 
gold had exchanged hands freely. If there was any 
truth, indeed, in the charges they brought forward, 
of all the corrupt boroughs that ever existed, 
should certainly have taken the palm. The highest 
and the lowest were, it seemed, alike steeped in 
bribery. As for treating, well, it is no exaggeration 
to say that there could scarcely have been a single 
sober man in the town, from three weeks before the 


election till six weeks after it. The "man in the 
moon" had shone most brilliantly in every hole and 

Mr. Justice Mellor was the Judge, and I think that 
even he, who had had considerable experience in election 
petitions, was astounded at what had, apparently, been 
taking place. 

Though I was the junior of his juniors, it is 
my impression that our client depended very 
largely upon me. The reason for this would very 
likely be that I had known him and acted for him 

I was not in very good health at the time of 
the trial, and at the end of about the fifth day 
I felt utterly worn out. I positively longed to get 

out of the stifling atmosphere of , and I eagerly 

sought an opportunity to do so. I had made friends 
with the landlord of the hotel, and as the result of 
some inquiries I put to him I learnt that, about four 
miles away, he had some ponds that were plentifully 
stocked with tench and carp. My delight was un- 
bounded. Fancy 1 The prospect of green fields and 
trees ; a fishing-rod in my hand ; a pipe in my mouth ; 
and a comfortable seat by the banks of a rustic pond ! 
I arranged that, as soon as the Court rose that after- 
noon, a brake should be ready for me, containing rods, 
lines, and all the other necessary appurtenances ; and 
I stipulated that my intentions should be kept a pro- 
found secret from my colleagues. Immediately the 


Court rose, I gave every one the slip, and, having 
arrayed myself in flannels, proceeded to the spot where 
it had been arranged the brake should await rne. 
Judge of my disgust when, on approaching the vehicle, 
I encountered the sitting Member, his solicitor, and the 
whole posse comitatus. " Where are you going ? " they 
all cried, "in this costume, too!" Well, I tried to 
prevaricate, but I couldn't ; and I had to confess what 
were my intentions. With one accord they all shouted, 
"We'll come, too!" Good heavens! this was precisely 
what I had been endeavouring to avoid. " Impossible," 
I said, " without tackle ; " to which my client replied, 
" Oh, we can buy all that." (Of course, he was a City 
man, very rich, and thought he could buy everything.) 
"Well," I said, "I can't wait; I'm off;" and, with an 
expression upon my face the reverse of amiable, I 
jumped into the brake, and was driven away. 

The spot to which I was conveyed was very 
lovely, as, indeed, was the country through which I 
had driven. No smoke, no din ; nothing but fresh air 
and charming landscape. The pond itself, as well as 
being picturesque, was, from the angler's point of view, 
a most seductive one. I had brought plenty of bait, 
and forthwith commenced operations. My initial efforts 
were crowned with success, for only a few minutes had 
elapsed before a splendid tench, weighing about two 
pounds, lay upon the bank by my side. In a word, 
I was getting on very smoothly. 

Thus happily was I absorbed when I was rudely 


aroused. The landlord of the hotel had driven me 
over, and suddenly I heard him say : " Look you there, 
sir ; here they come," and, to my horror, I perceived 
two wagsronettes containing all those from whom I 

oo o 

had so longed to separate myself for a while rapidly 
approaching. Never before had I knocked the ashes 
out of my pipe so savagely as I did now. Here, then, 
was an end to all enjoyment. 

The whole party having alighted, the servants 
they had brought with them proceeded to open 
a number of hampers stuffed with bottles of cham- 
pagne and other luxuries. Very pleasant, no doubt, 
under given circumstances, but these were among 
the very things that I was anxious to get away 

The dainties having been duly arranged on the 
bank, the sitting Member began to fish. I don't think 
he had ever had a rod in his hand before. He did 
not get his line into the water at all ; it went to the 
blackberry bushes. I am not given to using bad 
language, but I don't think I should like to put down 
here all the phrases that ran through my head. My 
client could not fish himself, and so he wouldn't let me. 
Just at the very moment when I was about, I fancy, to 
have another tench, he came up to me, settled himself 
comfortably by my side, and began (Heaven give me 
patience !) to talk about the trial. Well, fishing was 
of course out of the question ; so, in a towering passion, 
I fiung down the rod. 


A few days afterwards, matters in Court began to- 
be very serious indeed. The case for the petitioner 
was closed, and it had become a question whether the 
mayor, one of the aldermen, and most of the leading 
tradesmen in the borough had not been guilty of bribery 
and treating. On the evening of the day on which 
matters came to a climax, my confreres and I in the 
absence of our leader, who had hurried off to - 
immediately the Court rose put our heads together 
with a view to deciding what course it would be best to 
pursue under the circumstances. As we had dined 
early, we were able to commence our consultation at 
eight o'clock ; and we decided to sit up far into the 
night if necessary. We determined that proofs of our 
witnesses should be taken in a room adjoining the 
one we occupied, and that they should afterwards be 
brought to us. Our fear was for the men who were 
to be called to give evidence, for it was obvious that, in 
a borough where political feeling ran so high, if they 
swore to facts that were untrue, they would eventually 
be indicted for perjury. After we had proceeded with 
our task for some time, it was made quite manifest 
to us that the only thing to be done was at once 
to throw up the sponge, and resign the seat on behalf 
of our client. 

My client and I sat up talking after the others 
had gone to bed. The truth is, he would not part 
with me. There we sat until one in the morning. 
He was very much averse to resigning the seat, and we 


were talking the matter over in. disagreement, and in 
rather loud tones. Suddenly he jumped up from his 
seat on the sofa, and, placing his fingers on his lips, 
whispered : 

" Hush ! There's somebody outside." 

I ran towards the door, and, as I caught hold of 
the handle, I distinctly heard the sound of some one 
scrambling over the banisters and jumping upon the 
stones below. 

There were several candles in the room. I seized 
one, and told my companion to follow my example. 

" Everything that has been going on here has been 
overheard," I exclaimed ; and, saying that, I rushed 
from the room and down the stairs. Then I paused 
to listen. Everything was as silent as the grave. My 
friend had not followed me far. Candle in hand, he 
was leaning over the banisters, looking down anxiously 
upon me. I searched the kitchen, and the whole of the 
lower part of the house, but found no one. When I was 
beginning to think of relinquishing my fruitless search, 
I discovered a little doorway that had previously 
escaped my notice. I passed through this doorway, 
and found myself in a narrow passage which led into 
a little sort of back kitchen. There, seated in an 
arm-chair, before the dying' embers of a fire, I found 
a man apparently asleep. Shaking him, I exclaimed : 

" What are you doing here ? " He rubbed his eyes, 
as though awaking from the soundest of slumbers. 
"That won't do," said I. "What were you doing 


outside the door upstairs just now listening ? I dis- 
tinctly heard you jump from the landing." 

The man protested his innocence again and again, 
and with every manifestation of virtuous indignation. 

Meanwhile my client had come downstairs. Finding 
his way to the little back kitchen, he came and assisted 
me to interrogate the man before the fire. In a little 
while I went upstairs and called the landlord, and from 
what he was able to tell me, I decided that the indi- 
vidual I had discovered was none other than a spy 
from the enemy's camp. I had gone far enough 
perhaps a little too far in my zeal for the interests of 
my client ; and I therefore left him and the landlord to 
settle with the intruder. I may here remark that the 
last-named was not seen during the further progress of 
the election petition. Goodness only knows what became 
of him. 

I thought that, at any rate for that evening, my 
troubles were over ; and I went to bed. Being pretty 
well worn to death, it was not long before I fell asleep. 
Then I had a troubled dream. I was industriously 
fighting the petition, facing obstacle after obstacle ; and 
while thus engaged, I felt somebody's hand upon me. 
The next minute I had started from my sleep and 
was sitting up in bed, rubbing my eyes. A truly 
whimsical sight met my view. There was my little 
client standing by my bedside, in a frilled night-shirt. 
I know well that the vision will never fade from my 
mind's eye. 


" Good Heavens ! " I cried. " Do let me have some 

"No," he said. "I've been speaking to the land- 
lord, and I've ordered a post-chaise, and you must start 

for at once. There, if you keep a sharp look-out 

you'll meet your leader on his way from , and 

you must tell him what has happened, and that I've 
determined to retire from the contest." 

It was a good deal to ask of me ; but I eventually 
consented to do what my client requested. 

When the Judge took his place on the Bench that 
morning, my leader rose and said that, matters having 
come to the knowledge of the sitting Member of which 
he had previously been in complete ignorance, he had 
determined to vacate the seat. And thus the matter 

When dealing with the difficulties of cross- 
examination, I might have related an anecdote, apropos 
of the subject, about a Welsh advocate who subse- 
quently became a Judge. The incident arose out of a 
trial for murder on circuit, at which he appeared, 
instructed by a country solicitor one of the leading 
practitioners in the town where the case was heard. 
The counsel was a very peremptory little man, and 
during the cross-examination he declined to put a 
certain question to the witness that was suggested by 
the gentleman instructing him. The solicitor pressed 
him again and again on the point, but still he refused to 
comply with the request. 


"Well, sir," exclaimed the solicitor, at last; "these 
are my instructions, and mine is the responsibility. 
Therefore I insist upon your putting the question." 

" Very well, sir," exclaimed the barrister, " I'll put 
the question ; but remember, as you say, yours is the 

The question was put, and the result was that it 
contributed in a large degree to hanging the prisoner. 
The sentence having been pronounced, the barrister 
turned round in a fearful rage to the solicitor, and 
exclaimed : 

" When you meet your client in h 11, which you 
undoubtedly will, you will be kind enough to tell him 
that it was your question, and not mine." 



Risk Allah r. The Daily Telegraph Taking evidence at Brussels 
Risk Allah's remark about the coffee I accompany the Pro- 
i-tireur General to a Belgian Court of Justice He takes a pinch 
of snuff from one of the men he is prosecuting Serjeant Parry 
opens his case A difference between the legal procedure of the 
two countries Risk Allah's history Finding the dead body 
The position taken up by the newspaper Alleged accomplices in 
forgery Parry defines the issue Verdict. 

IN June, 1868, a trial took place that for the time 
entirely absorbed public interest. It was the action 
brought by Risk Allah against the proprietors of The 
Daily Telegraph to recover damages for an alleged 
libel. The case, which was heard before Lord Chief 
Justice Cockburn and a special jury, commenced on the 
14th, and occupied many days. The defendants pleaded 
"Not Guilty," and lodged a traverse of the innuendoes 
contained in the declaration. Mr. Serjeant Parry, 
Mr. Baker Greene, Mr. Butler Rigby, and Mr. Dumphy, 
appeared for the plaintiff; while Mr. Coleridge (now 
' Chief Justice of England), Mr. Serjeant Ballantine, 

VOL. I. Y 


Mr. (now Sir) Henry James, and myself, represented 
the defendants. 

The libel was alleged to have been written by the 
special correspondent of the paper at Brussels, in 
giving an account of, and commenting on, a trial 
which had taken place in that city on the 22nd of 
October, and eight following days, and in which Eisk 
Allah appeared as the defendant, being charged with the 
double crime of murder and forgery. The solicitors 
for the proprietors of The Daily Telegraph were 
Messrs. Lewis and Lewis, the case being specially 
entrusted to Mr. George Lewis, Junior. 

Some months before the trial at Westminster, a 
commission was issued for the purpose of taking 
evidence at Brussels. Mr. Lewis and I proceeded 
there, on this commission, as the representatives of 
the newspaper, while Mr. Baker Greene journeyed 
thither in the interests of Risk Allah. We stayed 
at the "Hotel de Flandre," where a large room was 
set apart for the purposes of the commission. The 
proceedings took place before a commissioner duly 
appointed by the Courts in England. 

I shall give some idea of the quantity of evidence 
that was taken when I state that the commission 
occupied nearly three weeks. The plaintiff himself 
was present throughout the inquiry. He was a most 
remarkable man. His manners were exceedingly good, 
and, considering the enormity of the charges that had 
been brought against him, it must be admitted that 


he took matters very easily. The inquiry was more 
like a reference than anything else. 

The time at our disposal was so short, that we 
found it desirable, as a rule, instead of adjourning for 
meals, to have them served in the room where we were 
at work. One afternoon a curious incident arose out of 
this arrangement. I expressed a wish to have a cup of 
coffee, whereupon the bell was rung, and a waiter 
brought what I desired, and placed it on the table before 
me. I was at the moment busily engaged in cross- 
examining a witness, and Risk Allah, who was sitting by 
my side, very politely poured out the coffee for me. I 
turned suddenly round and saw him in the act, and 
I suppose there was something in the expression of my 
face that arrested his attention, for, with the sweetest 
possible smile on his face, he asked whether I took milk, 
and then, looking me hard in the face, added : "I 
assure you you need not be afraid, sir. I have put 
nothing in it." 

The commission at length came to an end, and 
George Lewis and I returned to London, bringing with 
us the depositions that were to be used at the forth- 
coming trial in the Court of Queen's Bench. I confess 
that I enjoyed my stay in the Belgian capital. It is a 
charming place, and I have often determined to revisit it. 
While there, Mr. George Lewis and I received very great 
assistance from the Procureur General, who had been 
the counsel for the prosecution at the trial for murder 
and forgery. Mr. Lewis had a letter of introduction 

Y 2 


to him, and he showed us every kindness and hospitality. 
The new Palais de Justice, which, to judge from the 
picture of it I have seen, is one of the noblest and 
handsomest buildings in the town, was then unfinished, 
though even while in an incomplete condition, it gave 
promise of its future beauty. At that time, the Courts 
were held in a somewhat antiquated edifice. The 
Procureur General conducted me there one day, so that 
I might have an opportunity of seeing how the law was 
administered in Belgium. On the occasion in question, 
he was prosecuting two men for fraudulent bankruptcy, 
and, in order that I might the more closely follow the 
proceedings, I was accommodated with a seat by his 

Three Judges sat upon the Bench during the hearing 
of the case. The Court was so arranged that the 
dock where the prisoners, by-the-bye, were comfort- 
ably seated was immediately behind the bench at 
which the Procureur General stood while he opened 
his case. In perhaps the most damning part of his 
accusation against the two defendants, one of them 
produced from his pocket a snuff-box, and took there- 
from a huge pinch of snuff. As he did so, the Procureur 
General turned round and, with a smile and the word 
" Pardon," also took a pinch from the box ; after which 
he concluded the sentence that had been for the moment 
interrupted. Imagine such a thing in an English Court 
of Justice ! But they do strange things abroad. 

In opening his case before the Chief Justice at 


Westminster, Serjeant Parry characterised the narrative 
he was about to unfold as one of the most extraordi- 
nary that was ever listened to in a Court of Justice, 
fruitful as the Courts of all nations were in interest 
and romance. In a few preliminary sentences he called 
attention to the difference between legal procedure in 
this country and abroad. In England, Risk Allah 
could only have been tried for one of the crimes at a 
time, whereas, in Belgium and France, the Procureur 
General could include in the acte d' accusation as many 
charges as he liked, however dissimilar they might be 
in character. Parry went on to say that, after the 
Belgium trial had lasted for nine days, and after seventy 
witnesses had been examined, his client had been trium- 
phantly acquitted. All the leading foreign newspapers, 
English and otherwise, had been represented at that 
trial, and among the number The Daily Telegraph, 
which was, perhaps, the most influential organ in this 
country, and certainly the most widely read. The 
special correspondent of TJie Daily Telegraph, con- 
tinued Parry, had all along in his reports, as would be 
seen when extracts came to be read, assumed the 
guilt of the accused, about whom, indeed, he had 
printed the grossest libels and calumnies. At the end 
of the trial, when the innocence of Risk Allah had 
been established and demonstrated, a leading article 


appeared in the paper actually reiterating all the charges, 
and containing, not exactly a bold statement that they 
were true, but innuendoes pointing unmistakably to 


the conclusion that the writer believed Eisk Allah 
to be a murderer and a forger. 

Parry next addressed himself to the character of his 
client. By birth an Assyrian, he had been educated 
for the Greek Church. Altering his intentions as to 
the profession he would adopt, he came to England 
to study medicine, walked the hospitals, passed at the 
College of Surgeons, and became an associate of the 
medical school at King's College. Afterwards, during 
the Crimean War, he was appointed by the Duke of 
Newcastle, then Secretary for War, to the position of a 
medical officer on the staff of Omer Pasha ; and, in 
recognition of his services, he was awarded the Crimean 
Medal of England and Turkey. Keturning to this 
country in 1856, he at once married a widow of the name 
of Lewis. He simultaneously became acquainted with 
a young man named Charles Readley, who was, it 
was believed, the natural child of his wife's sister. 
Mrs. Lewis was possessed of a considerable fortune, 
and marriage settlements were prepared by which, 
inter alia, Eeadley was to be paid a sum of 5,000 
upon attaining his majority. In 1859, Risk Allah's 
wife became ill, and, after going to Germany, to drink 
the waters, on the advice of Sir William Fergusson and 
Dr. Ramsbotham, she died. 

Serjeant Parry next commented upon the fact that, 
in a Continental Court of Justice, when a particular 
accusation is brought against an individual, it is com- 
petent for the counsel for the prosecution to rake up 


anything of a damaging character in the past life of 
that individual. "Accordingly," said the Serjeant, "in 
this acte ^accusation it was insinuated that Risk Allah 
had murdered his wife, and it was actually so stated 
by the Public Prosecutor at his trial ; the charge being- 
reiterated in the libels published in The Daily Telegraph. 
After his wife's death, Risk Allah of course came into 
possession of her property. Risk Allah had, in 1861, 
been appointed guardian of Charles Readley, by the Court 
of Chancery, and the young man being anxious to go to 
sea, went either to the East or West Indies ; and in the 
acte d'accusation, they had actually charged Risk Allah 
with sending him there for the purpose of accomplishing 
his death. Readley subsequently returned to Spa, where 
he fell in love with a young lady of the name of Aikin. 
Risk Allah was anxious to promote the suit in every 
way;; but Readley gambled, exceeded his income, and, in 
point of fact, was rapidly going to the bad. It was 
alleged that, in 1865, Mrs. Aikin, the mother, showed 
herself averse to the match, and was determined to 
break it off. This seemed to make a deep impression 
upon the mind of the young man, and events culmi- 
nated in the terrible deed which closed his career. On 
the morniug of the 30th of March, 1865, he was found 
shot in his bedroom, the bullet having passed from the 
left-hand side of the jaw to the right ear. The chamber- 
maid had seen him asleep in bed at seven o'clock. That 
same morning, Risk Allah was called early, and, at half- 
past seven he was seen coming downstairs and going 


out of the hotel ; and he did not return until past nine. 
On his arrival, he inquired if the doctor had been to see 
his nephew, and on being told by the landlord that the 
bell of Keadley's bed-chamber had not been rung, he 
proceeded to the young man's room number seven. 
He tried the door, but found it was locked. He 
looked through the keyhole, and, as he saw smoke and 
smelt it, he cried : ' Help ! Help ! ' at which everybody 
ran upstairs. On breaking open the door, a sad spec- 
tacle met their gaze. The young man was lying dead 
in bed, and perfectly naked. Eisk Allah tenderly 
placed the coverlet upon the body. A gun was seen 
beside the bed, and on the table was found a slip of 
paper, on which were written these words : ' I've done 
it.' " 

The learned counsel next addressed himself to the 
merits of the trial that took place abroad. He said : 

" The whole question was, whether this was a 
murder or a suicide, and a great deal depended upon 
the position of the body, of the gun, and of the wound. 
A commission has been granted from these Courts, and 
a great volume of evidence has been taken. The 
witnesses have been examined and cross-examined by 
Mr. Montagu Williams on the one side, and Mr. Baker 
Greene on the other. The whole of that evidence has 
been returned in the form of depositions, and it will 
be laid before the jury during the trial. . . . Eisk 
Allah always declared it to be a suicide ; the magistrate 
who examined him declared it to be a suicide ; the 


jury who tried him in Brussels declared it to be a 
suicide ; but The Daily Telegraph insisted by their 
innuendoes that it was a murder. ... Of course it 
will be asked whether Kisk Allah gained anything by 
the death of the boy. The answer is that he did. He 
was the residuary legatee, and was entitled on the boy's 
death to the 5,000." 

The Serjeant next referred to the alleged forgery, 
and stated that Bisk Allah had become acquainted with 
a man named Osborne Affendi, and that, believing him 
to be a man of high position in the mercantile world, 
and a gentleman, he had placed the most implicit con- 
fidence in him. This man, however, turned out to be a 
most experienced and abandoned forger ; and Bisk 
Allah became his dupe on several occasions. Those 
were the facts ; but it had been alleged at the trial, 
and afterwards repeated by The Daily Telegraph, 
that Osborne Affendi and Bisk Allah were accomplices 
in forgery- This acquaintance with Affendi had, the 
learned counsel declared, been the most unfortunate 
circumstances in his client's career. It had led to his 
arrest in Paris, and to his subsequent trial at Brussels. 

Coming to the defence, Parry said : 

" The defendants, by their plea, have said they are 
not guilty of publishing the libel. They do not say 
they are justified in publishing it because it is true 
which they might have done but they put forward what 
is an evasive plea. They will endeavour to induce you 
to say that Bisk Allah was really guilty of the offence ; 


that o-eneral evidence warranted them in thinking him 

o a 

so ; that the comments were such as an honest and 
impartial journalist might make. This is really the 
issue you will have to try." 

Parry then read the various passages from The Daily 
Telegraph, on which he relied, and finished his opening 
by saying : "Now, in actual terms, there is not a direct 
statement against the plaintiff; but by insinuation and 
innuendo there is. What the plaintiff complains of 
is the account given of the trial by the correspondent, 
and by the writer of the leading article. They are 
both shrouded in that anonymity in which writers of 
the Press desire to screen themselves, and no doubt 
they will not appear to tell you the one, whether 
he was in Court during the trial ; the other, whether 
he wrote from honest conviction. Bisk Allah has not 
to contend with living witnesses, but with The Daily 
Telegraph. Gentlemen, The Daily Telegraph boasts, 
and probably truthfully boasts, of having the largest 
circulation of any paper in the world ; wherever it 
reaches, these slanders have been read and have 
been commented upon in a spirit not favourable 
to my client. The forces against him are almost 
overwhelming. I hope we shall hear nothing about 
the liberty of the Press in this inquiry. The ques- 
tion is not that liberty, but whether the Press has 
improperly invaded private character, and whether 
it has after a man's life has undergone a great public 
investigation by a thoroughly competent tribunal,, and 


lie lias been declared innocent of the charges brought 
against him attacked and assailed him again, and 
reiterated the charges. If Bisk Allah had been guilty, 
there was nothing for him to do but to retire into 
such obscurity as he might be able to find. If he 
were conscious of guilt, would he have taken the course 
he has now adopted ? From the moment that he was 
questioned by the French spy who, when he was 
originally arrested at Brussels, visited his dungeon for 
the purpose of interrogating him down to the present 
time, he has asserted his innocence, and done every- 
thing that was possible to convince others of it. He 
has challenged a powerful newspaper in this country 
to attempt to prove his guilt, and he conies before 
you for the vindication of his character. He tenders 
himself for a severe inquiry into his whole life. That 
inquiry will be made by some of the ablest counsel 
at the Bar, who are arrayed against him. Gentlemen, 
you will have to decide between the defendants who 
have sullied, and him whose character has been sullied ; 
you will have to say where truth and justice lie between 
these two parties, and I believe that the most fearless 
man in the Court is my client, Risk Allah, who has 
heard everything that has been said ; and I cannot 
help believing that that fearlessness springs from a 
consciousness of his innocence." 

The first witness called was Eisk Allah himself, 
and he was examined and cross-examined at enormous 
length. The cross-examination, indeed, lasted for several 


days. The depositions from Brussels were then read, 
and other witnesses were called. The evidence at an 
end, Serjeant Parry proceeded to review it, and on 
the afternoon of June 20th, Mr. Coleridge commenced 
his speech for the defendant, and a most exhaustive 
speech it was. The Lord Chief Justice afterwards 
summed up ; and those who were present, and had 
known his lordship both as an advocate and a Judge, 
characterised the summing-up as a masterpiece, even 
for him. The jury retired to consider their verdict, 
and after an absence of two hours they returned into 
Court. The foreman stated that they had agreed that 
the verdict should be for the plaintiff, but that on 
the matter of damnges they were eleven to one. He 
asked whether counsel on both sides would accept the 
verdict of the eleven. It so happened that I was 
the only person present representing the defendants ; 
and though Mr. Baker Greene assented to the verdict, 
I, in the absence of my leaders, declined the responsi- 
bility of doing so. The jury accordingly again retired, 
and returned half an hour later, with a verdict for the 
plaintiff upon both issues, damages being given at 960. 



Long cases and large fees : Mr. Coleridge's observation Chief Justice 
Cockburn's remarks about the Press What another Chief 
Justice said: "Who is Mr. Corney Grain 1"TJie Daily TrJr- 
</f<(ph's leading article The necessity for a Court of Criminal 
Appeal Instances of how it would have been useful Should 
defended prisoners address the jury 1 

IT was during the progress of the Risk Allah trial that 
Mr. Coleridge, who was then in very large practice, 
turning to me, said : 

" When you have had my experience at the Bar, 
you will pray not to be afflicted with these long trials. 
They never pay, large as the fees may be, and they 
keep you out of every other business." 

Another matter to which I cannot help alluding 
was the charming manner in which Chief Justice Cock- 
burn, during the trial, went out of his way to praise 
the Press of this country generally, and to gracefully 
allude to the manner iti which The Daily Telegraph 
was conducted. How different from another Chief 
Justice who subsequently observed in another trial : 
"I never read The Daily Telegraph" But then the 


same authority, during the same trial, observed : " Who 
is Mr. Corney Grain '? I never heard of Mr. Corney 
Grain ! " 

In the issue in which The Daily Telegraph recorded 
the result of the trial, a leader upon it appeared, and 
I cannot refrain from quoting portions of it. 

" It is not only," said The Daily Telegraph, " by 
Courts of Law that these delicate questions of journalistic 
duty are settled. There is a tribunal of appeal to 
which, without complaint against the legal tribunal, 
we proudly carry our case. The public is the real 
judge of all such cases, and no judgments but those 
of the public can condemn its own faithful representa- 
tives." Later on, the article proceeded ; " His lordship 
softened the condemnatory tone of his charge with 
eulogies, which we might quote with pride, if it were 
needful to go to that high standard of estimation to 
vindicate the labours and the spirit of this journal. 
We accept the weight laid upon us in words like these : 
' The higher the character of the paper, the larger its 
circulation, and the more extensive its influence, the 
more serious are the consequences to the individual 
whom it wrongs.' The jury of public opinion do not 
hold that The Daily Telegraph would, if the error 
could be avoided, brand an innocent man with murder. 
The jury of public opinion do not believe that, to spice 
a paragraph or season a column, The Daily Telegraph 
would trifle with a man's hope of life. The court of 
public morality has not condemned us in this matter, 


and while we deserve and have the unbounded con- 
fidence of the public, a fine like this for a duty done 
towards the English people can be sustained without a 
murmur, and will not make us afraid to write what we 
believe to be the truth." 

There are some remarks I desire to make with 
reference to the necessity for establishing in this 
country a Court of Criminal Appeal, and, perhaps, had 
I only thought of it in time, those remarks would 
most fittingly have followed upon the account I gave 
of the circumstances connected with the Hatton Garden 
murder. It will be remembered that, in that case, a 
remarkable dead-lock was brought about. A man 
named Pelizzioni was tried for murder and found 
guilty. While he lay in the condemned cell, facts came 
to light which gave rise to the belief that another 
man, of the name of Gregorio, was the real author of 
the crime. Gregorio was thereupon tried and also found 
guilty, not actually of murder, but of manslaughter. 
It was, indeed, a situation that would have been 
ludicrous but for its solemn character. As I explained 
at the time, an ingenious way out of the difficulty 
was happily discovered. There had been a lesser in- 
dictment against Pelizzioni, on which, of course, he 
was not tried after being found guilty of the capital 
offence, and the authorities now bethought themselves 
of the expedient of reviving this indictment. Thus 
it came about that, in all, three trials took place. 

There would have been no necessity for more than 


one trial had a Court of Criminal Appeal been in 
existence. By a Court of Criminal Appeal I mean a 
Court having the power to review a verdict or sentence 
in the light of any facts that might transpire after the 
trial. There is already a Court for the consideration 
of Crown Cases Reserved, but it has only to decide 
questions of law, and that only when the Judge consents 
to hold any particular point over. For years, the reform 
for which I am pleading has been demanded of suc- 
cessive Governments ; but the matter remains in statu 
quo. Session after session the excuse is made that 
the Irish Question so occupies the time and attention 
of the House of Commons that it has not a spare 
moment for home legislation of the description referred 
to. One, at last, is forced to ask oneself the question : 
Are the liberty of the subject, and a question of life 
and death, mere secondary considerations ? It certainly 
would appear so. As I am writing a matter is en- 
grossing the attention of the public, which is very much a 
propos of the subject under consideration. An unhappy 
woman is, at this moment, lying under sentence of death 
at Liverpool for the crime of poisoning her husband. She 
has been tried by one of the ablest and most conscientious 
Judges who ever sat upon the Bench, and regarding whom 
I may say that, in criminal matters, he is second to none. 
His " Dig-est of Criminal Law " is the ablest book of its 


kind that has appeared. One learns that, after a long 
and patient investigation, and after the accused had 
been found guilty, a scene took place in the city where 


she was tried, which I am glad to say is, so far as I 
know, without a precedent. The Judge, upon leaving 
the Court, was hooted and hissed by a turbulent mob. 
Again, for some reason or other, persons who are in 
no way concerned in the matter the majority of them 
being in complete ignorance of legal affairs are cavil- 
ling at the justice of the sentence, and insisting that 
the whole trial is eminently unsatisfactory. With some 
surprise I see that the Bar of the circuit have originated 
a petition to the Home Secretary, and it is, I gather, 
now lying at the Assize Court for signature. I cannot 
help thinking that this is a very dangerous precedent, 
and that, if this sort of thing is to go on, the due 
course of justice will be seriously impeded. 

In connection with the case in question, there is 
another point to which I would briefly refer. Should 
an accused person, besides having a speech made on 
her behalf by her counsel, be permitted to make a 
statement herself? Judges differ widely upon this 
question. In the early part of my professional career, 
I never knew of this course being taken. Later on, 
however, I was aware, on more than one occasion, of 
such a statement being made, the practice having, I 
believe, originated with Mr. Justice Hawkins. Person- 
ally, having regard to my clients' interests, I would 
never permit such a thing. I do not desire to discuss 
the matter here ; but I may say most emphatically 
that, in my opinion, it is a fatal mistake to allow a 
prisoner to address the jury when he has counsel 

VOL. I. / 


to do so for him. When I have seen this course 
adopted, it has generally been by the sanction of 
counsel who, however excellent they may be as nisi 
prim advocates, are mere amateurs, so to speak, in 
great criminal cases. As a rule, they have been afraid 
of what, in their eyes, was a losing case, and they have 
felt that they avoided a grave amount of responsibility 
by allowing the accused to make his or her own 
statement. The questions as to whether a prisoner 
should be allowed to give evidence himself and to be 
examined upon oath, and as to whether a wife should 
give evidence on behalf of her husband and be sworn 
in the same way as any other witness these are 
questions that can only be settled by the Legislature. 







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